Posted by: Titaniumdon | December 9, 2016

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.

Posted by: Titaniumdon | December 7, 2016

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.

Posted by: Titaniumdon | December 5, 2016

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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Posted by: Titaniumdon | December 2, 2016

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.

Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 30, 2016

Pathwalking 257

It’s unhealthy to ignore the outside world completely.

We need to be aware of what is happening in the world.  While there is something to be said for the bliss of ignorance, knowledge IS power.

The problem is, it can be very hard to stay focused when you are inundated with a barrage of upsetting information.  How do you find and maintain a happy medium between knowing what’s going on, and being completely drowned in data?

The mistake I keep making is digging into stories, reading into Facebook and G+ posts, and really getting into the in-depth bits and pieces of certain news and reports that makes me feel sad or angry.  It seems like the world is overflowing in haters, greedy pigs, delusional sociopath narcissists, gullible fools and fear.  The word threat, whether to liberty, freedom, ideals or life itself is thrown out like an indefinite article.  And people are eating it up, sharing and complaining and preparing to stand against, and in some cases for, possible forthcoming injustices.

Consciousness creates reality.  I say this over and over again, in part simply to remind myself.  If we want to spend our lives in a struggle against opposing forces, this is how we create that.  Every time we take up a position of opposition, we are actually giving MORE energy to the things we DO NOT WANT.  Trouble is, the Universe only understands desires and passions, and does not differentiate between want and do not want.

We cannot leave these threats unanswered.  Maybe so, but can we stop standing against these things, and stand FOR their opposites?  Can we choose to throw our support to good things rather than our opposition to bad?  If we keep our focus on the things we do not want, the things are getting the focus, and low-and-behold, we keep getting more of them.

I created Pathwalking with the intent of seeking out and making my own way in this universe.  I prefer to make my own choices, to forge my own way in the world, and to seek things that make me feel good about my life.  In the current climate of the world-at-large, this is proving particularly difficult, in part because I want to still make my own way, but I also want to be ready to help my friends, my loved ones and the ideals I care about in whatever way I can.

I believe, and frequently state, that we are able to control how we feel.  While I know this to be true, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  When you are constantly blanketed in negativity, awash in the tide of fear and hate and anger and frustration and perceived insanities, controlling how YOU feel becomes particularly challenging.

Then, just to add insult to injury, it’s possible to feel guilty about this.  About what, you may ask?  About wanting to feel good, about taking care of yourself first, before you reach out to take care of others.  It is NOT selfish to care for yourself, in fact without self-care, we have nothing to give anyone else.  But particularly in the face of overwhelming concerns for the greater good and outside matters, it is hard to not feel self-care is actually selfish.  There are great big problems in the world, and if I do not address them I might as well just be contributing to them.

But the thing is, if you do not save anything for yourself, you have nothing really to give.  A car with no gas in the tank is still a car, but you’re not going to get anywhere without fuel.  You can be of no good to anyone else if you are of no good to yourself.

The question becomes, how do we take care of ourselves without being enveloped by the negativity and bad news in the world, while still remaining informed and prepared?  Truth be told, I really don’t know.  This has become a daily struggle for me, and then coupling it with a bit of seasonal depression it becomes that much tougher.  But here are the things I am employing at the moment:

Avoid digging too deeply into news.  There really is no need to read every in-depth article.  Now if it’s a topic I want to be knowledgeable about, that’s one thing, but if it’s just reading deeper into an already aggravating story, why bother?

Pause, meditate, breathe.  Just the other day I left work, and went to a nearby park.  I stood beside the river, listening to it run over the rocks, for just a little while, and that made me feel better.  We have to breathe, we have to pause, and when we can meditation calms the mind and enlivens the spirit.

Feel gratitude.  Even in the face of so many disheartening things, I have much to be grateful for.  From often overlooked things like breathing, hearing, seeing and smelling to possessions to people in our lives. FEELING grateful reminds us of the good things we all still have in our lives, right here, right now.

Get offline.  Step away from TV, radio and other media outlets.  It’s important to take time, every day, to get away from it all.  Doesn’t matter if you are alone or with friends, you need to have time to just be.  And not to be thinking about today’s world crisis.

It is important to stay informed, but equally important to not get drowned in negative information.  If we each strengthen our own resolve and come from places of our own good, we can do far more for the world at large.  I know this is not easy, but every day is new…and we deserve to not live them in misery, or fear, or any other negative emotions.

What keeps you in balance?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 47:

Diet:  Wrestling this back under my control this last week.  Getting better about tracking again.

Exercise: Two days at the gym last week.  Yeah, need to get back onto this bandwagon for multiple reasons.

Writing:  The three blogs got written.

Meditation:  I meditated two days last week, for 6 and 9 minutes or so, respectively.

Gratitude: I wrote three to six things I was grateful for every day last week.

 

This is the two-hundred fifty-seventh 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.

Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 28, 2016

Positivity: We Are

Sometimes the most positive thing to face is that we are here.

We are alive.  We are breathing.  We have endless possibilities ahead of us for the day.

In the face of a whole lot of insanity from outside influences, the holiday season, or you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder; finding and maintaining positivity can be a particularly challenging idea.

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It may seem trite, but just being alive is a huge plus.  You are breathing.  You have the ability to read this post from your computer or phone or tablet.  You can make choices for your life, for your present and your future.  You are.

Just being, at times, is a total win.  You do not need a grand and glorious thing, you don’t need anything more substantial than acknowledging you just are.

You matter to me.  I may or may not know you, but I think it’s important that you know you DO matter to me.  Yeah, I write these for myself, but I share them because I think it’s hugely important to acknowledge that we are not alone.  We all are struggling, we are all making efforts to live the best lives we can, and we all are in this together, even when we disagree.

Today may be great, or it may be awful.  You may be coming off a weekend of extreme awesomeness or total and complete suckiness.  You may simply be going with whatever the universe gives you, day in, day out.  Whatever the case, you ARE, and that is hugely positive.  So things may be imperfect, and the outside world might look like an incredible dumpster fire – but we are able to find the good in the world, to be positive about the fact that we matter, and we can overcome anything.

We are here.  Whether people agree or disagree with our viewpoints, whatever our circumstances, we are here.  That means there is possibility, opportunity, and potential.  It may not feel like it, and you may be struggling to do all kinds of things….but you ARE.  That’s so amazingly positive that we can take tremendous comfort in acknowledging this.  Be grateful you have your life, and all sorts of options.

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I know there are many things that can be depressing going on out there. But we can change our focus away from that.  We are here.  That is spectacularly positive.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that there is massive positivity in simply being here, this is something we can work with every day.  When we are grateful for being, and we find the positive in our very existence, 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-eighth 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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Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 25, 2016

Crossing the Bridges: Affirmations and Mantras

Last week I came up with a new mantra for my life and my goals:

The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.  I gain more than I lose when I act upon my dreams.  Fear is the mind killer, and I am not afraid.  Do or do not.  Remember that there is no spoon.

I have managed to memorize this, but truthfully it’s a tad long.

I believe that I have mentioned previously that I have hired a coach to work with me on figuring out how to move forward with my various goals and aspirations.  I like my job and my coworkers, but I really want my writing to be a greater source of income.  SO, as such we have been working on my approach to life and how I am handling certain things.

One thing she pointed out to me is that the above is not a mantra.  Why, I questioned?  She explained to me the meaning of mantra.

From the Sanskrit: the root, man, means “to think”, while the suffix, tra, which is designated as tools or instruments; ergo, mantra comes out to mean “instrument of thought”.  Mind you, there isn’t really a literal translation for mantra, but the concept is that it provides a focal point for the mind.

This is why om, when meditating, is a mantra.  You focus on the one point of thought to help connect you to source energy, and as such to clear the noise and chatter and achieve a greater sense of mindfulness.

Last week I delved into my fears.  Not just the things that I am fearful of, but really the root of my fears.  Why am I afraid of these things?  What consequences am I concerned with?  The conclusion I reached was that I am most afraid of suffering.  Suffering would be feeling disconnected, depressed, miserable, and a wide range of negative emotions.

My coach pointed out that what I had called my mantra was really more of an affirmation.  A lot of people look at affirmations as hooky-spooky new-age mumbo-jumbo BS.  Ok, I can see that take, but on the other side of the coin what harm is there in considering them?  Why not affirm positive ideas about the self to help get where you want to go in life?

One of the biggest issues I face is a lack of clarity.  I have this vague idea of just what I want to do, but at the same time I have a myriad of notions about what shape that should take.  Further, I was struggling for some time with this notion that I am not one, but two or three different writers, and how on earth do I rectify that?

One of the reasons I created this particular blog post was to address the various mixed aspects of my life.  Professional, personal, recreational, and all the different places my life goes.  I have a good job that occupies most of my weekdays, I write the blogs and works of fiction, I have the SCA and jobs I do in the medieval society, not to mention social time with friends and loved ones.  Bridging the gap between the three variations of my writing, however, has been a particular matter I have found needs more definition.

Fiction, self-help/philosophy, business/professional.  These are the three categories I write in.  My first love is fiction, since I began writing sci-fi and fantasy back when I was 9 years old.  Now I have been blogging self-help, holistic ideas and philosophy for nearly 5 years.  Writing professionally, whether it’s press releases, general informational materials, SEO, website content or what-have-you also is fulfilling.  Yet tying all of these together, and really getting at the heart of my love of the written word has still been challenging.

Working with my coach this week, however, we hit upon it.  She and I broke down just what it is I want as I strive to promote myself and my work further.  In doing so, I now have the idea of how I can combine all of my writing into a singular notion I can work with to take things where I want to go.

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Why do I want to write?  Because ideas, worlds, characters and a lot of what I think are cool ideas are in my head, and I need to get them out there.  Why do I want to share what I write?  Why is it important to me to make a living as a writer and eventually a speaker?  Because I want my ideas, whether fiction or non-fiction, to provide inspiration.  I want people reading my work, be it philosophical or fantastical or professional, to be inspired.  It doesn’t matter if they feel creative inspiration or self-awareness inspiration or professional inspiration, I want them to be inspired.  I want to empower the imagination, and I want to have a positive impact on people.

And that was the missing key.  What do I want from my writing, and why do I want to share it with the world?  Because I want to help people feel empowered, inspired, open to greater creativity and awareness and their own empowerment.  Even my works of fiction feature characters who are striving to improve their lives or find their paths or work out their own destinies.

All of my writing has the same end goal.  Thus, my new mantra has been born:

I am a successful writer who empowers people to be inspired.

At the end of the day, this is where I want to see my life be.  It is a statement made completely in the here-and-now, because living in the past or living for the future usually causes you to be stuck in the middle of nowhere.  I have made that mistake many times, and I am working with new tools to be stronger, happier, and maybe even wiser.

The challenge now is to live my mantra.  I need to absorb this notion completely into my being, and work with it to get where I want to go.

Life is a constant work-in-progress.  There is something new to be learned, new experiences to be had every single day.  I am psyched to see what all I can do with this.

Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!

 

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

Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 23, 2016

Pathwalking 256

I will do what I have to do when and if the time comes.

In the meantime, I cannot live my life anticipating possibilities.  In especial, focusing on worst-case scenarios.  There’s a terrible idea – get fixated on awful, no good, scary things, and consciousness creates reality.

We are now living in particularly uncertain times.  We are witnessing an unprecedented situation in America due to our President-elect’s vast unpredictability, and his particularly vulgar, hate-spewing supporters (I am being specific here in regards to the KKK, neo-Nazis, various white-supremacists and other hate groups openly celebrating and feeling empowered).     There is an unbelievable amount of fear, concern, and hopelessness because no one knows if they’ll be interred, deported, lose their health benefits, retirement benefits, state aid, or be a victim of a hate crime.

A part of me feels guilty in continuing along my own path.  Shouldn’t I do something more?   Isn’t there something I can do to help people in this situation?  Is it totally selfish of me to continue as I’ve been?  Is it not more important that I seek to do something that will benefit others more than myself?

Well, the answer is yes and no.  Put simply, I cannot do anyone else any good if I am running on empty.  If I am not empowering myself how on earth can I empower or help anyone else?

These forces are all about disempowering us.  They want control, for themselves and a select few.  They want us fearful, powerless, and cowed.  They prefer us worried because in worrying we are more prone to chew on our fingernails and fret over what happens next rather than to take action of any kind.

Pathwalking is empowering myself.  I am making the necessary effort to expand my life and achieve my goals, the main one being to help inspire and empower others.

So while I may be feeling somewhat selfish in working on my own empowerment, I also recognize that if I do not empower myself, I can do very little for anyone else.  Coming from a place of strength and hope and positivity will produce vastly better results than coming from a place of weakness and fear and negativity.

Still difficult not to feel guilty about keeping focus on myself.  But this is not selfishness nor narcissism, this is working on my own self-love and self-respect, so that I can share that with others.

Despite all this uncertainty, for the most part life is unchanged.  In the world of social media and instantaneous information we are completely overwhelmed with a constant stream of negative information.  This terrible thing that awful business those atrocious people and so forth.  In the immediate here-and-now I still have to live today, and go to work and take various actions for my life experience.

There are actions we can take now.  We can express that we will be beacons of hope and light standing out from the darkness and despair.  We can call our Congresspeople and remind them that we are who they actually are supposed to be working for, and that we would really prefer they help us.  We can stand together, ignoring race and gender and sexual orientation and religion and skin color, and show them we will not be intimidated.  We can write blogs about finding our own empowerment, and show them we will not be victims.

I think to some degree our present matters are due to people living in the past, real or imagined, fearful of the future, uncomfortable with progress they think is leaving them behind.  But each and every one of us can be accountable for our own thoughts and feelings and actions, and we can choose to work in the here-and-now to empower ourselves, do what we can and be prepared without being intimidated.

I am grateful for my life.  I have fantastic friends and loves, a roof over my head, technology at my fingertips, abundance and stability.  If and when these things are threatened I will take action, but right here, right now, they just are.  Rather than allow myself to be swept up in the tide of negativity with my own negativity, I need to be empowered so that I can share that with you and everyone.

Empowerment of the self is in no way selfish, it is akin to weightlifting at the gym.  When you are empowered, you are stronger spiritually, and when your spirit is strong you can do more for yourself, and for those around you.  As such I can and must continue to walk my paths, because anything else would be denying my empowerment…and that’s precisely what they want.

It is not selfish to live in the now, and to be focused on things that will empower.  I encourage you to remain vigilant, but don’t get so caught up in the dark possibilities that you help collectively manifest them.  The anti should be met with the pro, negativity with positivity, hatred with love, disempowerment with empowerment.

Stay strong.  Stay grateful for what you have, but don’t deny what you are working towards for fear of uncertainty.  The future is not yet written, and we cannot live in it or be fearful of it.  We need to be stronger than that, we need to be empowered and to know that we can still choose our own way.

Here and now be prepared, but be present.  My paths are many, and in empowering myself to walk them so are the possibilities.

What are you doing for your own empowerment?

 

GOAL LOG – Week 46:

Diet:  I’ve gone a bit off the rails.  I am eating too much and more poorly.  Need to reign this back in.

Exercise: Fencing happened once last week, and I spent more-or-less a whole day on my feet as well.

Writing:  The three blogs got written.

Meditation:  I meditated only on 1 day last week, for 9 minutes.

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

I am striving to get back on this.

 

This is the two-hundred fifty-sixth 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.

Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 21, 2016

Positivity: Hope for The Future

Like a lot of people I know, I have many concerns about the future.

Long buried ugliness has boiled back to the surface.  After decades of progress in equality and fairness no matter your race, creed or color…the lunatic fringe is feeling re-empowered to attempt to be dominant once again.

They may have gained a voice in politics and will work to alter public policy…but we can make all of their efforts a struggle.  They are NOT in the majority, I believe that the sane and rational are.  We need to stand up to this madness and remind the misdirected that progress is a good thing, and we are not a monochromatic nation.

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The thing is, maintaining positivity in the face of so much outright hate, incivility, rudeness and atrocious acts becoming common is a major challenge.  Watching the hateful and spiteful being given positions of authority is upsetting, maddening, and depressing.  It’s all too easy to lose hope, to hunker down and prepare for the worst, and to be afraid for the future.

But that’s exactly what they want.  If we give in to the sadness and sink into the fear, they have already won.  We don’t need the threat of foreign terrorists when our own leadership seeks to rule through fear.  They are working to build their power – either by riling up their base by playing on their fears of change, or by causing progressive thinkers to fear for the future of equality and stepping backwards.

It is imperative that we remain vigilant, and that we do whatever we can legally do to keep the worst case scenarios from becoming reality.  The thing is, we cannot do that by empowering them…we need to change our focus, and work instead on hope.

We need to act FOR the things we want, not AGAINST what we do not want.  We cannot put all of our attention on our worst nightmares, because doing that empowers them, and that is exactly what we wish to avoid.  We need to find hope where we can, to find positive actions that can be taken in order to resist the fear, and we need to work as hard as we can to make things better.

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I don’t know what form this will take.  I just know that if we meet hate with hate, anger with anger, negativity with negativity…we just foment more of it.  If we want something greater than that, if we want to keep from totally falling into the abyss of the hatemongers, we need to find positive actions of resistance, and give more reasoned reason for people to join in.

I have hope.  The future is not yet written.  Let’s strive to write a good one.

Finding positivity is not hard, it just requires action.  Knowing that the future has not occurred, we can strive to find positivity to work on building a better one.  When we work with hope instead of fear, 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-seventh 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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Posted by: Titaniumdon | November 18, 2016

Crossing the Bridges: Fighting my Fear

What am I so afraid of?

This is the question that has haunted me for most of my life.  Unlike many of my fellow Americans who can point to this thing or that which they live in fear of, I fear a number of intangibles.

Since this is my more personal blog posting, let me get personal here.  I have been in and out of therapy for most of my life.  My parents divorced when I was 5, and this caused me to have any number of issues for which I have sought therapy over the last three decades.  I suffer from depression, and I currently use meditation and exercise to manage it, but have used medication and psychotherapy in the past.

Please note – I do NOT blame my parents for my issues.  Since I, and I alone am responsible for how I feel, it is up to me to cope with and work on what this amounts to.  I have numerous tools to employ for this purpose, so it’s up to me to employ them.

The result is that I identified some time ago that one of the great motivators and demotivators of my life has been fear.  Fear of totally intangible things, most specifically failure, success, acceptance and abandonment.

I have addressed fear a lot in my other blog posts, because fear is a tool frequently employed to control people.  Fear of semi-tangible things, like death, terrorism, taxes, eternal damnation and financial ruin have become the weapons of our societal leaders, whether government, corporate or religious, and that’s above and beyond individual matters.

Fear is an instinct.  Way, way back when we were living off the land as hunter/gatherers, fear was what kept us alive.  You didn’t face off against a nine-foot tall bear or a pack of wolves or a pride of lions.  But when we started to settle into communities and created cities and the like, we somehow transferred our fears to less tangible, more squirrelly matters.  Suddenly we became afraid for our security not from animal predators, but from those we deemed more powerful than us, many of whom we gave control of our wellbeing over to, whether real or perceived.  Or our fear was given over to abstract ideas whose meaning differs from person to person.

I have come to believe that, by-and-large, we are a disempowered people.  We live in a society that casts blame rather than takes accountability, constantly looks outside of ourselves for validation, and gives away control to others for our care and wellbeing.  We let society tell us that we need to lose weight, make more money, and live up to expected norms rather than seeking and doing things that make us individually happy and bring us joy.  We struggle to fit in, and then continue to question why we are struggling.

For the last five years I have worked to be empowered, and shared my process.  While a great many things have changed for me in that time, there is still more I want to do.  But I find no matter how much I fight it, I still struggle with the same point.  Fear.  Fear continues to slow my growth, and keeps me from breaking my bad habits and going where I really want to in this life.

What am I so afraid of?  Logically, I KNOW that failure, success, acceptance and abandonment are abstract concepts.  I KNOW that I alone can take control of my feelings, and find ways to obliterate my fear.  I KNOW that I can manifest the things I want, because I have done it before.  So what do I remain afraid of, so that I only ever seem to be able to get so far, and no further?

Realistically, it all comes down to the same thing.  Suffering.  I am afraid that I will be miserable, and I will suffer.  If I fail, I could be miserable in my failure, and I will suffer.  If I succeed, I could alienate loved ones with my success, and I will suffer.  If I show that I am not who people think I am, then I will cease to be accepted, and I will be miserable and suffer alone.  If I am abandoned by all of my readers, my friends and loved ones, I will suffer in misery.  All point to the same outcome – I am afraid of suffering.

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Of course, I also know that the fear of suffering is in all probability worse than the suffering itself could be.  Paulo Coelho, in The Alchemist, says, “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

We have all experienced this.  I have been worried that something was going to be awful, and I got all worked up about what was going to happen, and I had trouble eating and sleeping and concentrating.  Then, when the thing I feared actually happened, it paled in comparison to what I had worked it up to be in my head.  The fear of suffering was far, far worse than the suffering.

So this is what I need to work on.  I need to stop being afraid that if I fail, succeed, lose acceptance or get abandoned I will suffer terribly.  I need to let go of this fear, find a means to replace it, and to take bold, inspired actions to make my dreams my realities.

I already have the tools.  Meditation and exercise, writing and reading.  I need to use the tools more thoroughly, act more intentionally and not just resist the fear, but overcome it.  I need to come up with a mantra that will overwhelm my fear, and assist me in living this life as I most want to.

I have my usual quotes.  The Litany Against Fear from Dune, multiple Yodaisms, Buddhist sayings, and a few others.  But it’s time to blend them into a mantra I FEEL and memorize, and repeat over and over.

The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. I gain more than I lose when I act upon my dreams.  Fear is the mind killer, and I am not afraid.  Do or Do Not.  Remember that there is no spoon. 

Let’s see what I can do with this.  Thank you for crossing the bridges between my worlds with me!

 

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

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