The Ramblings of the Titanium Don

Explorations of Conscious Reality Creation and Other Matters

Tag: struggle

How do you recognize if you’re walking the right Path?

How do I know if I am on the right path?

This is probably the most basic, yet most challenging question to ask.  The answer is both amazingly simple, and yet fairly complicated.

Pathwalking is making choices about living life, in order to work to consciously create our personal reality as we want it to be.  Rather than simply going along with life and letting whatever happens, happen; as we walk our chosen paths we strive to be present and aware.  We don’t want to let life just occur, we are working on living life to its fullest.

There is always more than one path.  That’s how the universe works.  If consciousness creates reality, as this blog asserts, then we can choose virtually any path we might desire.  As such, there is more than one “right” path for us.

It’s important to recognize that the idea of “right” is fairly loaded.  Right is often the extreme opposite of wrong, but in this context right is a matter of feeling, desire, and drive.  Further, today’s right choice could be wrong for us tomorrow.

I recognize that that’s pretty vague.  This is because the specifics of what is right for me are not going to necessarily be right for you, or for anyone else for that matter.  “Right” in this particular context is a matter of feeling, belief and faith.

How do I recognize the right path?

The short answer is that the right path will feel good.  It will almost seem like its too easy, and the work you do along the right path feels less like work, and more like play.  It’s surprisingly easy to lose track of time when you are on the right path, because you get so caught up in it you just take action because it’s what you need to do.

For example, when I am writing, and really getting into my work, whether it’s my blog or my fiction or even writing for business, I often just flow with it. Time loses meaning, and I come away from a project feeling complete, content, and like I wasn’t working at all, just doing what feels good to me.

I desire to be writing more frequently.  I am driven to write, and that is how I am certain that this is the path that is right for me.

It feels good.  It feels like it is what I am supposed to do.  That is how I know my path is the right path.  But to really be travelling upon that path, it’s important to believe and have faith.

What’s the difference between belief and faith?

In many respects these are similar concepts, but not in this context.  How does this work, then?  Belief is important to Pathwalking, because if you don’t believe that consciousness can create reality, and that you can choose your own destiny, your own path in life, then you are going to be incapable of living this way.

I believe that I can create the life I desire.  I have made this work before, more than once.  And that is where faith comes into play.

I believe in this…but I don’t necessarily have faith.  I believe, in the abstract, but my faith in my own belief is open to scrutiny, questioned by my own skepticism.  But more than that, what this boils down to is my faith in myself.  I believe that consciousness creates reality, but I have no faith in myself to consciously create it.

If I am responsible for consciously creating my reality, then I need to have faith in myself.  I am the only one who can make MY life what I want it to be.  But if I lack faith in myself, what can I do?

How do you create faith in yourself?

When you believe in yourself, you believe you are capable of almost anything.  We nearly all feel this way as children, but as we get older and we are exposed to certain “realities”, this fades.  We can regain our ability to believe in abstracts, but after that we have to have faith – faith in ourselves.

Skepticism, cynicism, self-doubt, self-recrimination, second-guessing and self-deprecation are all born of a lack of faith.  Despite what you might believe about conscious reality creation, you don’t have sufficient faith in yourself to achieve it.  This is evident if your self-talk is frequently negative, such as I am no good; I am unimportant; I am fat; I am lazy; I fail more often than I succeed; if I don’t joke about myself everyone else will; and so on.  When you speak ill of yourself, it shows a lack of faith in who you are capable of being.

You may not be who you want to be right now.  That’s ok.  One of the reasons to choose Pathwalking is to become the person you most want to be, even if that is not who you are now.  To do that you have to think about it, feel it out, take inspired, intentional actions – and believe in the possibility; have faith in your ability to succeed.  When it feels like you can conquer the world, and you believe in conscious reality creation and have faith in yourself, you will know that are on the right path for you.

Do you have faith in yourself and your ability to choose your own destiny?

 

This is the two-hundred eighty-fourth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas for and my personal experiences with 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.

What are challenges vs struggles with Pathwalking?

Pathwalking can be fraught with many challenges.

I long ago came to believe that nothing worth having is ever easy.  But there is a difference between challenge and struggle.  Challenge involves growth and proactive change, while struggle is stagnation and reactive change.  Challenge is deciding to change, while struggle is forced.

Many of the challenges in Pathwalking are due to outside influences, some which we can control and some which we cannot.  Recognizing this is the first step towards working with it, and keeping challenges from becoming struggles.

Further, when you recognize that you are struggling, it is possible to transmute your struggle into a challenge.  This is where taking control of the matters which you can control comes into play.

What is outside of your control?  Other people, situations that are not of your making, world news and such.  Let’s face it…we live in tumultuous times.  There is a tremendous amount of upheaval and reactionary measures happening because people are either making poor choices or no choices due to fear of change.  We can protest, we can vote more wisely, we can choose where and how to spend our money, but we cannot change these people, their actions or how they think, no matter how badly we want to do that.

What is inside of your control?  Everything that is yours in your life.  Your thoughts, feelings and actions, your situations, your mental state, how you use your time and so on.  You are the only person who can think for you, feel for you, act for you.  Nobody else can make you think, feel or do anything you do not allow yourself to think, feel and do.

We frequently give this away without realizing that we are doing that.  They influenced my thinking and she made me feel that way and I only did that thing because you made me do it.  Easy enough to give that power away, but that is a choice, a decision.  The power is yours, but you get to choose if you will take hold of it, or not.

Looking out for yourself is not selfish.

We live in a society obsessed with polar opposites.  Black and white, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, gay and straight, fat and thin, etc.  We are inundated with choices of either/or, when the truth is most people in every way fall somewhere between extremes.

One of these is the notion that if you are not selfless, you are selfish.  As such, we often find ourselves believing that self-care is selfish, so we neglect it to care for others.  Then we wonder why we are struggling, when we have accepted this notion and let ourselves take a second-rate place in our own lives.

When we do not hold onto things for ourselves, and we do not care for ourselves, we actually take away our ability to give to others.  We have to be full in order to have enough to share, and because this is an abundant universe that is not a selfish notion.  We are all unique individuals, and we all have different needs and wants, but no matter what those may be, we all need to care for ourselves.  Putting yourself first is perfectly fine, so long as you don’t ignore that there is a world apart from yourself.  You are the center of your own world, but you are also a part of rather than apart from the rest of the world. That’s an important distinction to remain clear on.

Choose challenge.  Choose change.

Change is inevitable.  It will happen, because that is part of life and growth.  Even when you are standing perfectly still, the air around you is changed by your body heat and your breath.  That is the nature of all things.  So rather than struggle from resisting change, accept the challenges that may come from change.

The challenges of Pathwalking will be different for everyone.  Things I find simple and easy you may find unbelievably difficult, and vice versa.  I am a thinker, and while I am empathic, I have often struggled to understand people who are true feelers.  However, while I can be logical about my feelings, actually understanding the meanings of my feelings can be difficult for me.  Then there are people who are doers – they take actions with seemingly little thought or feeling going into them, sometimes with extreme wisdom and sometimes less so.

Many of the challenges thinkers, feelers or doers will experience may be similar, but they may also vary rather widely.  The thing is to make the choices and decide to work on challenges we face, rather than to let choices and decisions out of our control, and work on struggles that drain us and disempower us.

Pathwalking is empowering.

Despite challenges and occasional struggles, Pathwalking, ultimately, is empowering.  Choosing your own path means that you are working on deciding how you want life to be.  When we decide this for ourselves, we open ourselves to discovering our happiness, and that, I believe, is the thing we most want to know.

When you are struggling, it is always possible to face it head-on and turn it into a challenge.  It may not be easy, but I believe empowering the self is always worthwhile.  Choosing my own destiny and deciding how I want to be I believe is key to living the best life I possibly can.

What challenges do you work with regularly, and how do you approach them?

 

This is the two-hundred eighty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas for and my personal experiences with 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.

Pathwalking 137

Some of the brightest, the funniest, the wisest of us suffer depression.

Unlike many diseases, depression is utterly silent. It is probably the most internalized disorder you can possibly imagine, and it can take a terrible toll and extract a terrible price on its sufferers.

I know this struggle intimately. I have spent most of my life fighting depression.

I am not ashamed of this fact, but I do not feel the need to advertise it to the world. But I am very much not alone in this, and it is something we all need to talk about and address more readily and with less angst than we currently do.

Depression claims many lives, in many ways. Some people withdraw within themselves, and never show the world who they are, or what they may be capable of. Some people put on a mask to disguise the sensation and keep the depression from ever showing. Some people choose to end their lives rather than fight against this illness.

The world lost a profound entertainer in Robin Williams. He was a brilliant comedian, he was an inspired actor, and by all accounts he was a good man. But like millions, he suffered with private demons, and he fought depression. Unfortunately for us all, he lost that fight and took away a bright light away from our world.

I admired him. I believe that Robin Williams very much walked his own path. Here was a man who went from manic comedy to serious stagecraft, who could alternate from hilariously funny to tear-jerking serious, who made a wide-ranging career of brilliant material. He made his own way, and he leaves behind many fond memories of his performances.

Depression does not care if you are famous or unknown. Depression does not care if you are rich or poor. Depression does not care if you treat it with drugs or psychotherapy or some combination therein or nothing at all. Depression is the dark cloud that overshadows every accomplishment great or small, every achievement you gain, every success and every failure. Depression is a waterfall, sometimes rushing down in a torrent, sometimes just a drip, but always there.

The loss of Mr. Williams is a tragedy, but the real tragedy would be in ignoring the terrible burden he fought. Depression for some is a moment in time, but for many of us it is an over-arching shadow, no matter how bright the sun and how hard we strive to find peace and happiness and good and positive things.

Over the years I have taken various roads to combat depression. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression, and at different times have sought out different coping mechanisms. I have gone through psychotherapy, I have taken Prozac, I have worked on meditation and Zen practices to make peace with my depression and keep it at bay. I have used combinations of all of the above to deal with and overcome my depression.

Pathwalking was created in part as a means to combat depression. I have found many of my past choices to have increased my depression, and determined that if I chose to find and walk my own path, perhaps I could find a direction where the shadow of depression will be less.

I can honestly say that, yes, Pathwalking has done its part in the war as an effective weapon against depression. I am far more content knowing that I am on paths of my own devising.

When we are inundated by negativity and we see a world in darkness it is hard not to let depression overwhelm us. I see too much potential in all that life has to offer to voluntarily depart from this world, but I can understand why anyone fighting this particular monster might make that choice. I may have never considered suicide as an option, but I can understand why others have.

We are not alone. Many of us are fighting together to overcome this foe. No matter what options you choose, please know that you are by no means the only one fighting this battle. I know. I understand.

Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Do not fear how others might react if they learn you are fighting this fight. Don’t withdraw from the world to hide from depression. Know that you can battle it, and you can win against it.

I have chosen to walk my own path. I recognize that depression will likely be a companion on any path I travel, but I believe I can overcome it, and I can find paths that will minimize its effect on me. It is my hope that as I share my journeys, you will also find solace in this notion, and if you also suffer from depression you will see that there are alternatives, and there are ALWAYS options.

These paths we choose are a means to make our lives how we want them to be. Pathwalking is a means to find peace, to find happiness, and to combat depression. I am not afraid to share my own struggle with you, and I am unashamed to admit that I fight this battle too. But this is an armor we can don that will help us to win the fight, and to continue on and learn all the possibilities before us.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. May your passing spark dialogues that will help others to find peace in their own life paths where you could not.

 

This is the one-hundred thirty seventh entry in my series. These weekly posts are specifically about walking along the path of life, and my desire to make a difference in this world along the way. Feel free to re-blog and share.  Thank you for joining me.

The first fifty-two weeks (Year One) of installments of Pathwalking is available in print and for your Kindle.

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