Imagine A World Full Of People You Love

What if you lived in a world full of people you love?  Not just people you love in most places but every single person was someone you love.

I believe you can trick your mind in to believing anything you want it to.  Experiments have shown that your heart and mind will follow cues you give it physically.  This means that a smile can make you happy and that holding your hands up in the air in the right way can make you more confident.

So what if you spent a day, or a week, or maybe a month telling yourself that you love everyone you encounter throughout a given day?  Could this be enough to convince your mind that you do indeed love everyone as if they were a family member?  I theorize that this may indeed be a possibility.

My biggest question is how would this affect the way I live my life?  I can imagine I would be more understanding if someone cut me off in traffic.  It probably would make me feel more inclined to open doors for people.  This would most likely force a new perspective for me that could be life changing.

I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m going to start saying, in my head, “I love you’ to everyone I see whether they’re in a car or walking past me.  When or if I start seeing results, I’ll share them here with all of you lovely people.

Be well.  Be positive.

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2014 Wrap Up

It’s been a while since my last post.  I had family in town and didn’t have a whole lot of time to sit down and write.  So my apologies to those of your who have been following and reading all year.  With that said, let me wrap this up and let you all know how I’ve been.

I started 2014 with the goal to become a happier, more confident person.  As I stated in my very first post:

I feel a lot of pressure as a husband and a father to make sure my family is taken care of. I’ve let life get me down and I also have anxiety problems. I’ve never been a real confident person. I want all this to change and I plan to write about it here.

This was my challenge to myself.  I can say with complete honesty to you and myself that I nailed it.  My outlook and philosophy on life has changed completely.  In only one year!

At the end of 2013 I was riddled with anxiety.  I felt it physically and would have panic attacks.  It was affecting me and my family as well.  After reading the book, “Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts I started to look at the world in a whole new way.

One big change in my perception was of what time I set my focus on, meaning, past, present or future.  I choose to start looking only at the present moment.  This is not to say that I haven’t planned for a future but I didn’t dwell solely on the future as I had in the past.  I also didn’t focus on the past, realizing that each present moment was an opportunity for change.

Early on, I met a lot of great people through Word Press and even won an award for my blogging which really helped me realize I was on the right track.  It gave me a lot of motivation to keep going.

In March or April, I injured myself running and it was a bit of a wake up call for me.  I wanted to much to run in a 5k and had even signed up for one.  The injury put me out and a co-worker ran in my place.  Through it all, I kept my focus positive by expanding my charitable giving.  Incredible things happened when I raised for a couple of different organizations this year.  A large part of this was due to the 100 Happy Days challenge I participated in.  And with that came an article that featured ME on Headline News!

There were some ups and downs, however.  In April I started to feel a little anxious but it faded quickly.  Again in June I felt a little uneasy, but it too faded quickly.  Since then, however, I’ve never felt better.  I stopped following politics and most news and that has done wonders for how I see humanity in general!

2014 ended 108 degrees from where I was at the beginning.  Anxiety is something I don’t really deal with anymore.  I’ve learned a lot of wisdom and philosophy.  I’ve conquered a pretty big giant in my life as well!

So what will happen to this blog in 2015 now that I’ve accomplished my goal?  There are always giants in your life to conquer.  Since injuring myself early on, I’ve done very very little physical activity.  I bought myself and my wife a Fitbit and am going to start my yoga practice up again.

I also plan to continue my meditation practice once my kids are back in school and keep fighting my giants as well as going more in-depth on how to keep anxiety away.  I hope you will join me on my journey.

Be well.  Be positive.

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I’m Now On Facebook!

I just started a new community for this blog on Facebook.  It’ll be a place where I’ll share links to articles I write here as well as other helpful and inspirational items I find along the way.

https://www.facebook.com/ConfrontingGiants

 

Finding Fulfillment Where I Am

There have been many times in my life where I don’t seem to have any desires.  I’ve often mistaken this contentment for laziness or lack of direction.  We live in a society where we’re made to feel like we should always have goals to work toward.  If we’re not getting a promotion at work or trying to get to the next financial level then we’re made to feel bad about ourselves.

I do enjoy having a goal to work toward, but I have been asking myself lately, “what if I’ve already found what I’m looking for and don’t realize it?”  Alan Watts asked the question, “What is it that you want?”  When I ask myself this question, I have to honestly say, “I don’t know.”  Watts’ answer to this is that either I already have it or I don’t know myself.  This really resonates with me.

Four years ago I came to a realization that I don’t know anything.  I started to think, at 14 I thought I knew everything, then at 24 I thought I knew everything, but now, at 34 I don’t know anything.  I haven’t got the world or myself figured out.  At 38 I realize that I probably never will have that figured out.  So Alan Watts was right, I don’t know myself.  He went on to say that you can never really know yourself.

The funny thing is, I think both of his answer apply to me.  I think I already have what I want.  I have a wife who I love more than I ever imagined I could, three beautiful girls who I love, who make me happy and who I am incredibly proud of.  I have a home that I really like.  I couldn’t be happier with my career path.

I may not have things figured out but I seem to have what I want out of life.  So why struggle to obtain what I already have?

Be well. Be Positive.

How Putting Myself Out There Is Paying Me Back

I’ve often written about my experiences with sharing my anxiety struggles and having people come to me and tell me that they also struggle in the same ways I do.  I’ve found that by putting out my successes that I’ve had friends come to me and share how they have also succeeded.  Not only that, but others who are struggling have come to me to ask me for more information on how they can achieve some success in their struggles as well.

Lately, I have been spending some time in the morning meditating.  Last week I started meditating for 30 minutes instead of the normal 20 that I have in the past.  To be honest, the only reason I started doing that was because a good friend of mine told me he does at least 30 minutes per day and I thought I’d challenge myself to do the same.  Being the extrovert that I am, I said something about my increase in time on Facebook and had a couple of my friends reply and tell me about their meditation practice and how it gets them through the day.

Sometimes you can’t tell who is struggling and who is using something like meditation or even medication to feel better.  So now, I’ve seen that not only do people relate to my struggles, but my friends and I seem to relate to each other in how we achieve success over our struggles.  It’s really opened my eyes to how incredible a lot of my friends are.  Many of them are financially successful and seem to not have a care in the world… on the outside.

Not only has this given me a new perspective on life and the people I know, it’s also helped me to not feel so afraid.  Maybe I can reach out and help someone as my confidence grows.  Just knowing that others are experiencing the same fears helps.

Recently, a guy at work expressed some concern to me that he was having a great deal of anxiety lately.  I gave him some tips and hope he follows up.  Honestly, the greatest tip I could give him, is something he’s already figured out.  Just open up to people, talk about it and don’t stigmatize it.

Be well. Be positive.

Can Curcumin/Tumeric Cure Anxiety?

Last year I decided to go see a therapist about my anxiety problems.  I only saw him the one time due to the costs but he speculated that my anxiety problems were probably genetic and further aggravated by a particularly tough time in my life about 10 years ago.   He also said that I probably couldn’t get rid of it but could manage it very effectively.  I’ve done a fairly good job this year of managing my anxiety by focusing on the present moment.  I’ve achieved this by trying to be conscious of where my thoughts are (past, present, future) and by meditating.  I’ve also started carrying crystals, which we can get in to another time, and have been taking curcumin (tumeric).

Mostly, I started taking curcumin for the physical health benefits.  It has helped my suspected carpel tunnel get better and has many other health benefits which I’m not very well versed in.  To be honest, my wife bought it and said “here, this will make you feel better” so I started taking it.

Today, my wife posted a picture of a bottle of curcumin on her Facebook page (we’re very extroverted) and was talking about how it was shown to be more effective than Prozac for treating depression and anxiety in a double blind study.  WHAT?  For real?  I did a search online and it’s true!  The funny thing is, I’ve taken Prozac and other anti-anxiety pills and they didn’t make me happy, just not anxious. When I take the curcumin I really do feel normal and happy.

So what if my anxiety problems were a deficiency in… whatever curcumin has in it?  What if it is a genetic deficiency?

I picked up some organic tumeric last night and I’m going to start working it in to my cooking.  I have no idea what to use it for to be honest but I’m sure there’s someone on the internet who will tell me.

Be well.  Be positive.

What’s Wrong In Self-Help and Law of Attraction

I have been thinking a lot about self-help and most notably the infamous “Law of Attraction”.  As a firm believer of the concept of creating your reality, I think the Law of Attraction has been sold to us as snake out.  And before you start telling me how I’m wrong, let me explain.

I know people who have money under the glass of glass top tables.  They tell me that having the money there will create a mindset in them to attract more money.  This may not be entirely untrue, however, when someone stares at money all day hoping that it’ll just start flowing in, then we have a problem.  I’ve watched videos where there is an overweight, middle-aged man in a cheap suit telling a group of friends that they need to put together a vision board and think about money 24 hours a day.  Nothing against middle-aged guys in cheap suits, I’m 38 and don’t even own a suit but clearly these guys with folding chairs set up in their garage with a cheap chalk board aren’t really manifesting abundance at an alarming rate.

Alan Watts used to propose the question to college students, “What would you like to do if money were no object?”  This would be an incredible question by itself but Watts goes one step deeper by asking “How would you really enjoy spending your life?”  Ok, mind blown until panic sets in.  There are people who actually do what they enjoy doing and don’t worry about the money.  Many end up making the money later.  Ok, so stay with me a moment while I talk about myself.

In 2002 I moved to Florida to study Film and Video production.  I had some of my best friends in life laugh at me and say “What do you think you’re going to do with that education?”.  I wasn’t completely sure.  I knew I loved writing and creating things but I also just like pushing buttons and using expensive equipment.  There’s also a part of me who likes being part of something that millions of people see and enjoy on a daily basis…. entertainment.  I moved, worked very hard in school and started working in television after graduation.  I couldn’t be happier with my choice.  I don’t make a large amount of money doing it.  I sometimes have to borrow money from my parents for things but eventually they get paid back.  I recently decided against pursuing a promotion that would take me in a direction that doesn’t suit me.  After telling my boss that I had decided against taking this position I felt liberated.

I know so many people who feel stuck in their jobs.  I say to them, “but you make so much money!”  They still aren’t happy.  They feel as if they aren’t doing what they love.  I have other friends who are doing what they love and do make plenty of money.  I’m not poor, don’t get me wrong.  The most important thing, however, is that I’m happy.  I spend quality time with my family and they are happy.  Why do I need anything else besides happiness?

So the problem seems to be that many self-help and Law of Attraction teachers are selling you on the idea of material object that cannot make you happy instead of selling you on the idea of happiness first. I will say, however, that most of them do teach gratitude for what you already have.  This is a power mindset which can lead to happiness.

So, if you are not happy with your situation in life, stop pursuing money.  Start pursuing happiness.

Be well. Be positive.

PS – Here is a link to a video where Alan Watts talks about this.