Sunday, August 16, 2015

Face Up To Reality


So jobs.......why O´ why do they seem to suck the life and soul out of us? What the hell can be done about it? Let´s face reality, the way life is set up, mother nature, the survival of the fittest, unfortunately the fact of the matter is that you gotta hustle or get left behind. If you´re an animal, hustle or get eaten. We all want to be happy in life, but no amount of spiritual niceness, wonderful, profound deep thoughts can get you away from the fact that you WILL have to go to that job on a Monday morning.

The fact is that deep down we just all want to feel alright. To not have hunger and starvation threatening your family. To have a house over your head. To have money to spend on nice things every once in a while. But we also don´t want to have the life and soul sucked out of us by a dead end job. We want to feel good and be non materialistic, and live a happy life but the fact is that we have to face reality. If you somehow want to get by in society, you have to buy into the consumerist attitude that governs everything.

Honest to God we´re all just doing it out of love. Either busting our asses to provide for our families. Or busting our ass to be good enough to have someone love us. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes out of dropping the ego completely and becoming non materialistic. Is that the path to hapiness? Theres a huge amount of anxiety sometimes with the feeling of being left behind, or not providing enough for your family. And, its just the way it is, but MOST people are caught in the rat race, and are too busy to be wondering about feeling good, and spirituality and all those great things. It´s pure hustle to stay ahead and not go under. Once again, face reality. Look it straight in the eyes.

So where do you put your energy? If you´ve got a shitty job, do you just enjoy life and grin and bear the crappy office hours and stay at that level? Or do you put more focus on your work and somehow learn to love it? And get better at it and move up the ranks? Even if you´re half living a lie? Or do you just go money mad, work your office hours but bust your ass outside of work to try and make a million, then drop out and get back to feeling good and enjoying life? Something like controlled crazy money neurosis for a while?? It´s a bit of a conundrum. I mean, look at this, most spiritual people that you see on the internet have created a business out of their spiritual advice. It seems like its all business at the end. A lot of the work involves stats, SEO, ebooks, email lists etc etc. You can have the best advice ever but if you´re not a good business person NO ONE is going to see it. So its business. And hustle. Thats the reality of life. Learn to embrace it somehow. And just try and find time to enjoy yourself as much as you can.

Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Develop Mental Toughness Within

Old Man crow_5070

Life gets very superficial sometimes. We like to operate at the top layer and very seldom go deeper to develop mental toughness. We spend so much time doing things. Wanting to be busy. It´s like life just engages with us in that way. We´ve got to be very diligent about keeping up with what´s going on around us. The problem comes when you´re operating from a bad or weak inner core. From deep within you there might be a bit of resentment or anger or sadness or whatever, but if that is what is at the heart of you, without a doubt that is what is gonna come out in your behaviour, and that will be your experience. It´s like running around furiously when your head is all tangled up. And the harder you run, the more strain you puts on the knots in your mind. Until you breakdown mentally.

The way that I like to get to the core of things is to step out of life for a while. Just take a step back. Stop watching the news, stop running around trying to "do" things, posting what your eating for breakfast on facebook, running around all happy and smiles, busy, busy, busy. It´s totally fine if at the core of you you are strong and solid, thinking positive, but if there´s negativity, those happy smiles might be masking inner torment. And it´s very difficult to get time and space the way life is set up. If I get all bent out of shape, I have to find a place where I can just chill out and do nothing for a while until I get things in my mind straightened out. Until I get that mental toughness back. Where I can start building confidence again.

I just sit down and think. And this can get a little dangerous as it can lead to obsessive thinking and disengagement with reality if you do not remember to return to the present moment and start engaging with life again. But just start exploring the deeper side of you and start pushing things in a positive direction. The positive thinking ball needs to start rolling again. It´s all about that mental toughness. If you feel that your fuel in life is anger, then you gotto get to that anger somehow and examine it, and look at it from all angles, and question it. Then just nudge things in a positive direction. Build that confidence. Its actually quite difficult to give directions on this because everyone just has to figure it out for themselves when you´re that deep down within yourself. But just make things positive somehow from deep within.

I also like to come up with great plans when I´m in this thinking mode. I start imagining what I´d like to do in the future, what kind of person I´d like to be, what part of the world I want to live and travel next, what kind of job I´d love to be doing. All the best things that you can think of. I imagine that mental toughness returning. Reach for the stuff that really makes you feel good, where life would feel great. And make these concepts solid within your mind, so that becomes a part of who you are. Build that confidence. So when you come to the next part where you have to actually DO all these great things and take action, the foundation of this plan is strong within your mind. The thing is though that slowly the more you actively do things to create this reality, the plan within your mind starts to fade a little so every now and then you have to reestablish the plan. And if things totally fade out and you´re wondering around kinda aimless and purposeless because youve been "doing" for so long, you gotto go back into the lab. Take a step back from life. Get down to the core and get your mental toughness back.

Get Angry with Life and Take it By the Horns

Having A Closer Look

Ok, for some reason I can see that this definately happens to me. Say now Ive gone through a couple of years of nothingness. Nothing seems to happen. I float through life. I go with the flow of things a lot. A sort of meloncholy has set in. A dissatifaction with life. An "ahhh it kinda sucks but Im too lazy to do anything about it" vibe. But all the while I am drifting downward in feeling, it´s gradual so its hard to pick up on, but finally it gets so bad that I get a massive shock to my system. I drift into reaally dark territory. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is when a fire gets lit under my ass. Something about experiencing such dark feelings seems to light a match which ignites the gasoline. I start thinkng to myself "Ive got to get going....Ive got to get going! Get up off your ass! Go! Get up!"

Well out of this, if I channel the energy constructively, comes good things. All the best things that I have ever done have come out of this state. It´s just a hunger. To create something good. Finally to get a bit of peace. To wake up! To shake my zombie-like body awake. Get going! And.....I seem to get going. Things start to happen. The world seems different. People´s reactions to me seem different. It feels like I´ve got a bit more of a shine in my eyes. A fierceness. Everything feels a lot more "real" and immediate. It´s a feeling of truly and genuinly being alive.

Well, this is the state that I´m always trying to get to. And if you ask anyone on earth, I think that they would admit that when it feels like they´ve got a fire under their ass, they feel more alive. To have the feeling of energy expanding within you is a great thing. Energy is the key component for work. The most productive countries in the world have one thing in common; an abundance of energy. You´ve just got to find the energy within yourself. Light the match to the gasoline within yourself somehow.

But what do you do when you start the downward descent from the high? When things get a little too good, you start to get complacent. Dark times seem to create diamonds out of the pressure situations. Good times seem to relax the body, relax the soul, relax the instincts. And you lose the fierceness and productiveness. It´s just a natural wave form, as it is with nearly everything in life. You go up, you go down, up and down. You have money, you don´t. You have love, you don´t. You have health, then you don´t. Well I write reminders on notes which I read every day to help keep me in that high state of aliveness. But it´s just natural that you go down and start to feel a little lifeless. I think that it just HAS to happen. But the key is to light that match. And don´t let yourself drift too far down. Keep scratching away in the dark until you create that spark.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Thinking vs Present Moment Awareness

pensieri - thoughts

To me, there are two basic modes by which the mind operates. One mode, is thinking mode. Thoughts. This is your ego. If you think thoughts, you have an ego. When most people refer to someone as "having such a big ego" they mean that person thinks of themselves highly, maybe superior to others. It´s often obsessive thinking. But the fact is that everyone has an ego. It´s just a way for the mind to identify with itself. Some egos think down on themselves. Some overinflate the idea of themselves. That´s why there´s that weird tension in basically any conversation. There´s almost always a slight competition going on. The thinking part of the mind is in competition with thoughts from other minds. Every mind seems to think that "No, my thoughts are the best. They are the most profound, intellectual, funny etc etc".

And then you´ve got the observant mind. A mind that is "in the zone". Full present moment awareness. Zero thoughts. When monks are meditating they are trying to free the mind of thinking. Free the mind of thoughts. Free the mind of ego. "Freeing the mind" now makes sense. You´re just giving it a rest. Basically it is just about engaging the senses. Recieving feeling through touch. Recieving sight, sound, smells etc for the mind to record to memory. Most people think that they just have bad memories. What I really think is that they just have bad concentration. They havent allowed the mind to record the neccesary information. When they were reading a book, they were really thinking about work. When they were listening to a story half their mind was engaged with thoughts of something else. Some people have this to a small degree. Some to a large degree. They just don´t seem to be "there" when you´re talking to them. Their mind is somewhere else.

But we were put on earth with an ego and a thinking mind weren´t we? So why would we disregard this tool totally? Why not master it? I always aim to have a small amount of positive monkey mind. A portion of my day is devoted to thinking. Instead of having thoughts about how bad and terrible I am at life, I try and produce the most productive thoughts possible. Productive thoughts create "feel good" chemicals in your body. The more you do this, the more momentum you gain. Negative thoughts create "bad feeling" chemicals within your body. The more you do this, the more momentum you gain. And when it´s bad, it can be a vicious circle. Just choose to send the momentum in the right direction, towards promoting feel good chemicals within your body.

But what do you do when your mind naturally wanders into dark territory? When something really bad happens to you in life, and no matter how hard you try, your mind seems to replay the thoughts over and over again. I think this is what is happening when soldiers get PTSD. Their minds replay the horrifying situations over and over again. The obsessive thoughts cloud the present moment. The person can´t engage with reality. And it can really be destructive to peoples lives. Maybe you have a bad breakup and you replay the conversations over and over and over again trying in vain to resolve the situation somehow. But it´s impossible. The negative thoughts activate "bad feeling" chemicals within your body and the vicious circle gains momentum. Some get so locked into this vivious circle that they never make it out. And turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to make them feel good again. It really is a wrestling match. You have to wrestle your mind away from this dark territory and send it to a positive, productive thinking place again.

Just become conscious of your thoughts. Sit down without doing anything and recognise the fact that you are having negative thoughts. Then consciously think constructive, positive thoughts. About whatever you think is positive for you. Recognize the good feeling it produces. And do it more. And do it more. Until you have finally wrestled your mind away from the dark territory. Become obsessed with being productive and creating a good life. Become obsessed about coming up with creative ways to enjoy life again. The key though, and I stress this, is to always practise present moment awareness. What I try to do is devote more or less, 80% of my mental energy towards present moment awareness, and 20% to positive, productive, constructive thoughts. A mind that is not engaged with reality is useless. You can´t allow yourself to fully cloud reality infront of you. But use your thoughts to do something good in life and feel good.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

No Matter What, Just Keep Going


Absolutely, without a doubt, the single greatest possession you have is your will to survive. When darkness encroaches, when clouds of doom start bellowing above, when you can hear the thunder and your bones start to shake, the ability to say "F%$^K you, I'm not going down like this" is the most precious thing in the world. To have the concept within your mind in times of darkness that "If I'm gonna go out, well then I'm gonna go out punching and kicking and shouting and raising hell" is worth more than all the gold in the world. You can either be filled with fear and dread. Your physical body will be in a negative biological and hormonal state, filled with cortisol etc. Or you can get angry. It's not exactly enlightenment, but its a step in the right direction.

Just start picking up the pieces. You might be totally shattered, but just one by one, try your best to be productive towards getting yourself back in shape. Just start putting all the big pieces back together. Get the fundamentals of your inner engine meshing together again. Then you can focus on the finer details. But get those fundamental processes up and running. To me, it's all about physical and mental health really. Once those are up and running, you're set to go dealing with the other issues in life. But it can be pure hell.

For some reason, when things go haywire, the mind seems to blank out or be reset somehow. It's like starting all over again. And there's a feeling of not being able to drag yourself through life. The energy has been zapped out of you. This lifeless feeling. The colours of life start to fade. The feeling gets sucked out and you can feel a void. In this time, the only thing that seems to spur me on is anger. Thats the fuel. But when your running on anger as fuel, negative behaviours manifest out of this negative state. Whats inside comes out. But what can you do? You cant just skip the que to feeling good again. Youve gotto go through the process. The key is to one day get back to some sort of enlightenment and good feeling place within.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

You Will Find Happiness Again

ready to fight with myself

Dark times are just a part of life. No matter who you are in the world. How rich you are. How beautiful you are. How many friends you have. How spiritual you are. That´s just life. It´s designed to kick our ass. I think we´re here to get an ass whoopin. And if there is an afterlife, we´ll sit back and go "Wooooaahhh, that was mental". It´s like the ultimate obstacle course. 

It´s the nature of duality. For all the good in the world, there is an equal and opposite amount of terrifying, horribly nasty, evil goings on. It´s not right or wrong. It just "is". And so, you´re stuck here with it. From day one to your last, it´s a scramble. So . . . . . instead of life kickin your ass so much . . . . . . . try with all your might, all your bravery, all your skill, become as productive in this aspect as you can possibly be, to kick life´s ass. Push the boundary of suffering and misery back. And go as far in the direction of good feeling as you can. If nature is gonna try and bring us down, I sure as hell aint goin down without a fight. 

I will implement every strategy that I know of. I will look to the leaders of thought and ideas and experience to find out the concepts which they implement, to use for myself. Don´t invent the wheel again. Stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before you and use their ideas. And pass your knowledge on to the next generation. But think for yourself aswell. Search your own soul. There is a way to do this. Don´t let melancholy set in. Don´t let mediocrity seep in. Fight like a warrior. Because there is peace and happiness. It exists within duality. 

I´ve been up and down. Everyone has. And when you´re down, you think you´ll never experience the good times again. But . . . . . there it is. And you ride the wave. And then down it goes and you start to spiral and lose hope. It´s just an emotional rollercoaster. It will go up again. Just keep doing all the right things. "If you're going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill

How to Break Obsessive Thinking and Worrying

stressed and worried

Well, I have full-blown, over obsessive, over thinking, worrying too much, whatever the technical name for it is called, characteristics. It´s just a mind that has a natural tendency to break away from reality and journey on into fantasy land. Sometimes fantasy land is a nice place. Sometimes it is pure hell. It feels similar to a maze really. Or a long dark tunnel. And when I finally get that eureka! moment where I figure out how break free of it (present moment awareness) I start to realize how much of my life (maybe the previous few months, maybe as much as a year) I have wasted being stuck in the maze of my own obsessive thoughts.

It´s a tiring experience of always trying to find the answer to something. And it feels like the answer is always just around the corner. Searching, searching. The internal imagery which I associate with the experience is dry and arid. Like walking a desert looking for something. And finally I figure it out again "AAhhh!! Present moment awareness!" and I jump into what feels like a deep ocean of knowingness, or basically, just a better feeling experience. It´s just better than whatever the hell I was going through before.

My strategy, when in the midst of overly obsessive thinking, is to sit down and give my undivided attention to something external. Some meditate and focus on their breathe. I find this kind of boring so I "meditate" or pay attention with pin point accuracy to say.....the radio. Especially talk radio. I love just laying down and listening to the guests they have on; current affairs, sports, entertainment, world news etc, hell anything just to get out of my own mind. It´s an excellent way to get perspective in life. I also get the feeling that it kinda connects me to the world and the collective consciousness.

The really tricky, frustratingly nightmarish thing sometimes is GRADUALLY falling out of this present moment awareness state. Slowly, gradually into ignorance. Basically. I start to think more than observe. And slowly over time these thoughts start to cloud reality. And soon, this thought storm is so thick that I cannot pay attention to ANYTHING! The gradual aspect to this phenomena is really hard to detect. The way I combat this is with notes. I keep a list of important principles and ideas which I constantly refer to to "keep on track". Write it on paper. Save it somewhere on the computer. Wherever. Just always have it around. The foundation really is good habits. Good solid concepts to ground yourself and get a solid footing in life. Then when that´s nice and firm, you can build on top of that. On to better things.