The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Month: December 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Crossing the Bridges: The Comfort Zone

We all have comfort zones.

We all have those places we retreat to or that we like to snuggle up in that are familiar, comfortable, expected.  We have comfort zones in our lives where we can operate on auto-pilot, and get along.

Of course, sometimes these comfort zones, while comfortable, are unsatisfactory.  You can be in that relationship that does not thrill you, work that job that pays the bills but does not stimulate your mind, stay in that city you’ve lived in for the past ten years but bores you, etc.

Sometimes it’s easier to just go with it.  There are enough matters for me to wrap my mind around than to have to take the challenge and do the things.

If I am going to grow as a writer, and if I want to be a bestselling author, so long as I choose to self-publish, I also have to self-promote.

There are aspects of self-promotion that come easily to me.  I can write press releases and e mails and tweets and post to Facebook and G+ until the cows come home.  These often go to the nameless faceless masses, so I have no issues with that.

However, when it comes time to call the venue, to put myself really truly out there, I am forced out of my comfort zone.  Crap, now I have to e mail a very specific person and sell myself.  Or worse, I have got to call them then.

Anybody who has met me might find this rather funny.  I mean, I have been known to talk a whole bunch. Lots and lots.  I am a verbose person, and I do not seem all that shy.  And I am not that shy…if you know me, and more importantly if I know you.

Deep down, I am almost painfully shy.  No, really, it’s true.  Twenty-five years in the SCA, and time on stage both in High School and College helped me to create an extrovert.  And, what do you know, this broke me out of my comfort zone.

Part of my concern is the impression I am going to make.  This is where I need to be much more diligent about recalling The Four Agreements.  The second is “Don’t take anything personally.”  While I need to sell myself to some degree, rejections and anything beyond that are not actually a personal affront.  They are not judging ME, they are reflecting on my request to promote my work.

This has been an interesting comfort zone issue I have had for a while.  I used to say that I could, at will, sell a drowning man a glass of water.  In certain circumstances, this has proven to be mostly true.  BUT, when it comes to the cold call or the blind e mail, and when it is more personal, I want to curl up under the blanket and not deal.

I don’t know when I became so shy about calls, and when I got so uncomfortable sending out unsolicited e mails.  It might be, in part, from semi-successful sales gigs over the years, and in part it might be from the two or three dozen rejections I received from agents before I decided to self-publish.

I am pretty certain that every single self-help and holistic book I have read or listened to, be it The Secret or You are a Badass or The Map or anything by Tony Robbins or Paulo Coelho makes it very clear that, to manifest the things desired, it’s necessary to step out of your comfort zone.  Period.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Neale Donald Walsch.

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What does this mean?  This means that in order to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and really live life on your own terms, you HAVE to step away from your comfort zones.  Otherwise, you will continue to live in mediocrity, and wonder why you are not accomplishing goals.

It is called a comfort zone because it is comfortable.  A huge part of what we want in life, a part of what we deem as happiness, is in fact comfort.  Society says that we need to have x, y and z, and for many that’s sufficient.  But for anyone that wants more, that wants to break from the norm like I want to do, x, y, and z don’t satisfy, and despite being in a comfort zone, I have to step away.

What do I have to do to get out of my comfort zone?  Act.  I have to take intentional action in order to get where I want to go, to promote my work further, and to get myself out there so as to generate more sales and become the bestselling author I believe I can be.

I took a step in this direction this week.  I sent out six e mails, three to bookstores and three to libraries, to find out about both getting my books into them, and getting myself set-up to make a presentation, maybe do a reading and a signing, and take this to the next level.

There is nothing wrong with my life currently.  I have a lot of amazing things and people in my life for which I am deeply grateful.  But I want something else, something more, and I can see what I have to do in order to have it.

I’ve been uncomfortable before.   A little discomfort is a small price to pay to create the life I want to live.  I have done this before, and without a doubt can do it again.

One more step across the bridge between the life I have now, and the life I want to have now.   Forwards is the only acceptable direction.  Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!

 

This is the eleventh entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series.  My collectively published writing can be found here.

Pathwalking 258

I frequently write about how we alone can control our thoughts, our feelings and our actions.  Yes, they can be influenced by outside people and things, but they are still under our own direct control.

Feelings in particular can be heavily influenced from without.  Feelings are frequently reactions to stimuli, so much of the time it is the things outside of us that cause us to experience emotions.

If someone compliments you, kisses you, smiles at you, invites you to a party, tells you some great news about their life, you are going to feel good.  When someone insults you, shoves you, yells at you, breaks up with you, or tells you terrible news about their life, you are going to feel bad.

The key here is what you hold on to.  When you are feeling good you generally seek more things to continue that feeling.  Of course, when you are feeling bad you might also subconsciously seek more things to continue THAT feeling.

We often do not recognize when we have allowed our feelings to be unduly influenced.  We feel what we are feeling, and do not realize that we can change this when we are feeling something we do not want to feel.

It is important to recognize, first and foremost, that NOBODY can feel good all the time.  We are all human, and we are a paradox of emotions, and as such to really feel positives we also must be able to really feel negatives.  There are reasons why we need to feel anger, remorse, displeasure, concern, and even certain kinds of fear.  They protect us, they help us grow, they allow us to recognize mistakes and issues and to change course when necessary to correct them.

The problem arises when we decide to allow negative emotions to dominate our being, and when we blame other matters for these emotions.  Yes, something or someone may very well have been what triggered the emotion, but after a while you take on all responsibility for holding onto it, in especial if it does not suit you.

The ultimate examples of this are grudges, feuds, and long-held false beliefs and negativity towards people and things.  This is where the term “I hate” becomes so incredibly dangerous.  Hatred is a powerful negative emotion, from which it is very hard to turn.  When we hold onto something based on a happening of weeks, months, even years ago or more, we create this steadfast negative space that can easily dominate our lives.

Yes, experiencing negative emotions is important, and not to be dismissed, but how long we choose to hold onto them is another matter.  Overall, negative emotions are more destructive than constructive (and I recognize this statement is not true for everyone, but for the majority of people it is).  Downward spirals are born of one negative emotion leading to another leading to another and so on until you are depressed, anxious, scared, distressed, lost…or any combination of these.

This is why it is so very important to ask ourselves, “How am I feeling?”  It’s incredibly easy to passively just go along with your day, doing the things you do, and never checking in with your feelings.  Meanwhile, lurking below the surface you could be feeling melancholy, concerned, anxious, frustrated, angry, hurt…take your pick.

This becomes especially important in a society with such instantaneous news and information.  It’s almost impossible to scroll through Twitter or Facebook or G+ without coming across an upsetting news story, real or fake, or people talking about the bad day they are having, or financial woes, or all kinds of other matters that are negatively slanted.    Some people only ever tweet about the miseries of their lives, some people seek constant victim reassurance and sympathy, and let’s not even get started on matters of national, international and global concern.    The more of these you encounter, the more likely, if you do not check in with yourself by asking “How am I feeling?” they will negatively influence your emotional state.

Further, we all tend to be really busy.  Most of us have responsibilities that eat up much of our time, and so emotions get shunted to passivity.  We get caught up in the activities we are working on, and we completely lose sight of our emotional state, and let it be a passenger in the jump seat way at the back of the vehicle.

There are times where our emotional state is a hindrance to things.  Certainly there are times where we are so focused on an activity that our passive emotional state becomes completely unimportant.  But when we get done with whatever it is that has occupied us so thoroughly, it’s surprisingly easy for our emotions to find their way right on top of us again.  How often do you find yourself suddenly feeling down and wonder where it came from?  This is most likely it – a formerly passive emotion, wrought of something that happened a while back, is now at the forefront of your awareness.

Once we ask ourselves, “How am I feeling?” we have taken an active position.  After we do that, we are further ready to take control, and alter our emotional state if it is not one conducive to us getting anywhere we may intend to go. Controlling how we feel is mostly a matter of active versus passive knowledge of our emotional state.

Seems easy enough.  Of course, it’s not easy, and takes a bunch of work.  I know what I need to do with this information, and I need to make certain I take more time to ask myself, “How am I feeling?”

How do you WANT to feel?  How ARE you feeling?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 48:

Diet:  Getting better about tracking again.

Exercise: Two days at the gym last week and two days of fencing.  Improving.

Writing:  The three blogs got written, and I worked on my sci-fi novel on four different days.

Meditation:  I meditated two days last week, for 6 and 7 minutes or so, respectively.

Gratitude: I wrote five things I was grateful for six days last week.

 

This is the two-hundred fifty-eighth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

Positivity: Motivation

Some days just getting out of bed is a challenge.  Those days often require motivation.

Finding motivators is an enormous positive.  Motivators help us to quit bad habits, start and maintain good habits, and make positive changes in our lives.

Motivation can come from any number of places, both within and without.  This is one place where outside influences are often to your advance, rather than against it.

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Self-motivation can be challenging.  Simply setting a goal, like quitting smoking or losing weight or eating less is all well-and-good, but motivating yourself to do the necessary steps can be rough.  This often requires a reward of some sort.  Change the habit, you get to buy a toy like a fancy new outfit or a tablet or something that you might not otherwise acquire on your own.

Some people like negative motivators.  I am not as fond of this notion.  Rather than rewarding positive change, you use negative stimulus and create consequences of failure.  As I am a firm believer in the notion that consciousness creates reality, focusing on consequence rather than reward might have a more unfortunate effect.  Rewards along the way towards your goal I believe are more effective, and positivity in the face of motivation is important.

Outside influences for motivation can be excellent.  When you have a whole group of people working together to get healthy, as several of my friends are currently doing, they each stand beside one another, motivating each other to carry on, do the thing, work at the process to get better, to be healthier.  They serve as cheerleaders for one another, and put social media to GOOD use as a part of doing this.

While often times outside influences can be problematic, as I have stated before, this is one time when they are not.  The support from others is hugely motivating, because you know you are not alone in the process, and you have people to turn to when your motivation wanes.

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Whatever form it takes, motivation is how we move forward to make changes in our lives.  Motivation is a positive force, and I cannot think of anyone that does not need more positivity in their life.

What motivates you?

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that there are any number of motivators we can employ to effect change in our lives, we can take action.  When we are motivated to make positive changes in our lives, we empower ourselves.  When we feel empowered, we often spread that feeling to others around us, and as such can build more positive feelings.  We can use the positive feelings this generates to dissolve negative feelings.  When we take away negative feelings, we open up space to let in positive feelings, and that is something we can be grateful for.  Gratitude leads to happiness.  Happiness is the ultimate positive attitude.  Positive attitude begets positive energy, and that is always a good thing.

 

This is the one hundred forty-ninth entry of my Positivity series.  It is my hope these weekly messages might help spread positive energies for everyone.  Feel free to share, re-blog and spread the positivity.

In relation to Positivity, check out my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.

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Crossing the Bridges: What Inspires Me

One of my favorite books is The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.  I have read it more than once, and listened to it countless times (the audio book is brilliantly narrated by Jeremy Irons).

Nothing I have ever read has resonated with me like The Alchemist.  Doesn’t matter if we’re talking fiction or non-fiction, this book speaks to me like no other.

It is not a long book.  But it is very, very deep.  Although it is a work of fiction, many of the points it touches upon are real.

Everyone has the ability to follow their heart to live out their dreams and realize what Coelho calls one’s “personal legend”.  We are all capable of communing more with nature, listening to our hearts, following the signs and omens laid out for us as we move forward in our life.

Every time I re-read or re-listen to this book, I become inspired.  I want to follow the omens and listen to my heart and live out my own “personal legend”.  I want to take the necessary chances to find my own “treasure”, wherever it is buried.  I want to live each day intensely, to know that my time on this planet has not been wasted but rather well spent, and that I am happy with my life.

The Alchemist is all about the journey.  It’s another example of Joseph Campbells’ “Heroes’ Journey”, but it also touches upon The Law of Attraction and Consciousness Creating Reality and living in the moment in the most approachable way I have ever encountered.

I am not the only person for whom this book has an impact.  The Alchemist has been on the NY Times Bestseller list for nearly 8 years!  It’s been translated into numerous languages, and is a beloved allegory.

I tried to write my own story, inspired by The AlchemistVortex Pilgrimage is an homage to Coelho’s allegory, imbedded in an alternate reality to our own and written from a 1st person perspective (which is not my normal style).  It is an embellishment of my own travels to visit the energy vortexes in Sedona, AZ.

I have read much of the rest of Coelho’s works.  They are all excellent, but none has stuck with my like The Alchemist does.  Such an incredible tale, it makes me feel content every time I listen to it.

What has this got to do with my own work as an author?  I want to be as inspiring as Paulo Coelho is.  It’s not just The Alchemist, the rest of his works are also inspiring.  Past that, he blogs and Tweets frequently, and shares his wisdom freely.  He has endured a lot of hardship in his life, and has risen above it to become one of the bestselling authors of all time, and an influential figure.

I guess if I have any hero at all, Paulo Coelho would be it.  There are many other writers who inspire me, whom I would like to emulate in some form or other, but Coelho is a man I deeply admire.  More than the success he has achieved, I want to be as capable as he is at inspiring!

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Like my new mantra says, I am a successful writer who empowers people to be inspired.  I want to help people imagine, dream, see the world as a place of possibility, excitement and potential.  I want to help people be empowered, so that they can take responsibility for their own lives, and find more happiness and peace.

Why is this so important to me?  Because I believe that we can only make the world a better place for everyone if we each individually find our own way.  It’s not easy, and there are days when it feels terribly daunting.  But we are all capable of taking control of our lives, of our thoughts and feelings and ultimately our actions.  When we do that, we can choose to seek out our dreams and live as fully as possible, just like young Santiago in The Alchemist does.

Yes, I want to ultimately be a successful author.  I want my books to be well-loved, inspiring people’s imaginations.  I want my blogs to have a positive impact on people, and to help them see a world of expansion and hope rather than compression and fear.

We are all more capable than we are led to believe.  We can all listen to our hearts and seek our dreams, and live each day with excitement and passion.  I know this can be hard, but when I do it I am so much happier for who I am and how my life is.  That is what I most want to achieve with my life.  I want to be as whole, happy and able to share as I possibly can be.

Everybody experiences ups and downs in life.  That’s part of being human, that’s part of our every day.  What we often neglect is our ability to take control, to make choices and to seek out a better destiny than the one we think has been set before us.  The Universe is a place of abundance, not lack.  I believe this to be the truth.  This is what I want to focus on.

The possibilities are many, the potential is vast.  I am a work in progress.  Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!

 

This is the tenth entry of my personal journey, the Crossing the Bridges series.  My collectively published writing can be found here.

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