Cliff Jumping

Reason to live:

When someone says to you, “how’s your day going?” And you say, “Uh, not so good.”

They respond and remind you, “Yeah, that’s life sometimes. Ups and downs.” And then you remember you just can’t get away from it — the pain and the pleasure.

It’s crazy and ridiculous… You think, “oh I’ll just stay home  and I’ll feel better, but then you don’t”. So you leave and get hit with the crap.

Then you remember the crap is LIFE. It’s your ego’s response to the world. It doesn’t know any better how to respond.

Bad stuff happens… good stuff happens… you learn to be more OK with it by detaching from your ego. Your ego = all your thoughts and ramblings in your head. It’s choosing to identify with the real you more than those things.

You can get hit with thunder and fire and still be OK. You really can!

THEN YOU ARE FREE.

Then you have more empathy and more love to give EVERYONE.

We’re all stuck in the past — we’re all walking around in memories. When you get hurt it’s just a feeling from the past.

It’s tempting to want to escape and walk away from it all.

Then you remember that EVERYONE deals with the exact same thing. Those who feel most alive are the ones who don’t fear it. They seek out experiences that bring it up — pain, joy, fear, ecstasy. They aren’t walking around scared.

The other night I realized as I was driving (on a quiet, peaceful road) that I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel safe in this world.

And for the first time I saw this as a product of my ego. IT’S NOT REAL. It’s a choice I am making in a deep, unconscious way. I am choosing to want safety, rather than letting myself have it.

This unsafe feeling is just a feeling — a game, you might say, that my ego is playing. I drop it the moment I get home and crawl into bed.

Anytime I want (and with practice) I can let go of that unsafe feeling and decide I AM SAFE.  ALL THE TIME.

This concept is so weird and powerful, I’m having a hard time grasping it. I actually freaked out when I realized I constantly don’t feel safe for no reason. It’s a terrible uncomfortable feeling inside.

Imagine the times you don’t feel safe — when there is actual danger in your path — now imagine having that all the time. I really got hit with seeing that this is often how I operate. 

This is pretty personal, but I want to share it… it’s not as bad as I’m explaining here, but it’s worse than I want it to be….

This is why I feel most safe at home. I feel most safe lying in bed and every day I so look forward to putting on my pjs or sweat pants and getting under the covers…. where it’s “safe.”

But why would it be any safer under the covers?!

The only reason I can think of is because I feel in control.

When I walk outside into the day, I lose that control.

I don’t know why, but there is just this silly fear underneath it all. It’s something I decided long ago.

If I feel I can’t control my environment I worry I am going to freak.

This is why I choose people who make me feel safe. But you know, it’s just a choice I make. I’ve chosen people in the past who I thought were safe who were definitely not.

What all of this means is THAT HAVING SAFETY IS A DECISION. No one else can package up safety and give me a shot of it. It doesn’t come in a can or a bottle or in anything you can read or take. It’s a thought between your ears, only.

I can set a goal of feeling safe and comfortable when I’m out in the world. That means that difficult or uncomfortable things can happen, but they don’t personally affect how safe I feel inside.

That’s because no one else can decide how I feel inside.

I am still going to wake up and feel unsafe, but the more I can choose to let it go and feel loving instead, the more I am aligned with all that is good and true.

You don’t feel like your best self when you fall apart, but you have to fall apart to become your best self.

~Richie Norton

One Thing Is Certain

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, How you managed to survive.


You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over.


But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, You won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm’s all about.

― Haruki Murakami

This gives me goosebumps.

The Evening Glow

Reasons to live:

Next week is my birthday. Considering that last year I spent it with a douchebag asshole (how do you really feel?) I doing whatever the fuck I want this year. I think I’m taking myself to a ski film festival.

I think I have a place to live…. for free… for the next 7 months. With a feral cat. By a river.

I’ve almost finished reading a 997-page book. The PIllars of the Earth. This is an excellent idea if you are looking for a job and want to put it off. If that books seems too long you can download my little ebook, 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love. Or go crazy with The Perfect Pull.

Another good friend of mine is having a baby and getting married, and I am so happy for her! These girls who want babies and don’t get them until their late 30s… it’s just all the more special. I kind of wish I wanted a baby. I just want a room full of cats. But then when I’m old, like 80, I want a kid to help take care of me. Oh decisions.

It’s candy corn season.

The Release Technique stuff continues to help. It’s like I’m feeling my feelings for the first time. It’s terrifying and soothing and crazy.

I still don’t like Facebook because of all the rah-rah stupid shit on there, but I’ve realized I haven’t gone on once in the last month, nor have I had the desire. I’m proud of myself. I used to be so addicted to it. It’s really a relief to have it be in the past. I want my conversations to mainly be in person, or on the phone. And I want those conversations to be meaningful and connected. I don’t get that connection–like-feeling from having my social life online (unless it’s Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. j/k!)

Another post filled with f-word goodnees (in case I didn’t satisfy you in the first paragraph): Why “You Can Go Fuck Yourself” Is a Great Attitude to Take on Today.

Lastly, here are some magical beings of light:

On the edge of dreaming when the brain lets go,

when it stops its scheming, our blood runs slow…

Then the heart speaks clearly of the things it knows,

things it brought so dearly at the evening’s glow.

~Oksana Rus

A Little Magic Dust

Some of my favorite affirmations from 101 Affirmations for Confidence and Self-Love:

  • When I get challenged I see the opportunity for love and approval.
  • My happiness does not depend on anything or anyone for validation.
  • I can let go of needing the approval of others to value myself.
  • I am relaxed, confident, and believe in myself.
  • I am a strong, capable, and loving human being.
  • I am lovable and acceptable whether I succeed or fail.
  • I will not tolerate mistreating myself.
  • My sense of worth cannot change, no matter what the circumstance.
  • I am able to tolerate and let go of a wide range of emotions with ease.
  • I am acceptable and lovable exactly as I am right now.
  • Everyone is equal to me and I am equal to everyone else.
  • I am wanted and loved by all of life.
  • I believe in my capacity to grow and change in a positive direction.

You can read all of them by getting your copy here (Note: you can read Kindle books easily on any device — iPhone (with an app) or laptop — you don’t need a Kindle reader).

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Nobody can say anything about you.
Whatsoever people say is about themselves.

But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center.

That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people say about you.
And you are always following them, you are always trying to satisfy them.

You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal.
Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself.

-Osho

We’re all OK

Today is a good day because:

  • It is bright and sunny outside
  • I’ve been waking up every morning and saying the 101 affirmations in the book I wrote. It is helping. You can get a copy for 99 cents, or email me and I’ll send you a PDF for free in exchange for a review. 365reasonstolive@gamil.com.
  • I love the coffee shop where I’m hanging most days. Today I look pretty, wore cute clothes and no one is starring at me. Yay!
  • I was judging various people today (missionaries, meth-looking lady in the liquor store parking lot) and caught myself and said to myself:

    They are not better or worse than me. Can I decide to be an equal to EVERYONE?

    This is SO freeing.

  • My jetpack widget is no longer working on this website, so I can’t see my stats (and I don’t know how to fix it) and I’m just going to let go and not worry about it.
  • I took my homepage off Google news and put it on a blog that inspires me.
  • They are playing Michael Jackson’s greatest hits in here. Yes!
    Probably one of my all time favorite songs below.

And that is it. I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Even when things aren’t working I’m loving myself instead of cutting myself down. It is astounding.

I feel like I’m starting to feel genuine self-love for the first time.

It is not dependent on anyone else. It is not dependent on where I live. It is not dependent on anything.

I am living at home. I am underemployed. I am almost 37 and I don’t know how to get what I want. And I am starting to genuinely love myself. Ha ha!

It’s starting not to matter. The pieces are falling away. I’m starting to feel real joy for NO FUCKING REASON.

Other than — my ego/mind is dropping off, slowly, with practice. Behind all the thoughts and all the crap and garbage is this genuine joy and zest for life. And not zest for life later, but now!

So I’m feeling better even though nothing has changed in my world and I have this horribly boring editing job to do today.

I owe this improvement to what I’ve learned in the Release Technique over the past 6 months, which I’ve been doing with my friend Dan and a few other people. It’s seriously the most helpful thing I have done in years. It makes sense, feels authentic, and has me thinking about myself in a whole new way.

I’m moving forward.

I’m hating my feelings less. I’m hating pain less. I’m less scared of feeling things. That has honestly been one of my biggest problems. Fear of feelings and pain = more and more pain.

It’s just dissolving…

I freaking Love this beat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And cause we’re thinking of Michael, this one is good too:

To the guys staring at me at the coffee shop today

You must have something better to do, right? I am not interested in talking to you, and frankly I am not interesting, period.

I hope you enjoyed watching me blow my nose profusely.

No, I did not shower this morning.

Have a great day.

P.S., Thinking I need some humor to lighten things up around here.  I AND MOST WOMEN do not like being stared at (unless you are Keith Urban (j/k), or have an exceptional personality, or we’re at a bar and it’s dark so I can’t really see you).

If we have something on our face, please let us know.

P.P.S., Well the staring has ended 30 minutes later. But I’m still getting a lot of friendly looks from people — although it is nicer, less creepy.  Creepy = continuing to stare at me after I make eye contact that clearly says go the fuck away.

YES, I SEE YOU.

Ready. Fire. Aim

Today let’s do those things we’ve been putting off for no good reason. I know everyone’s time is limited, but I think you can make time for what is really important.

YOU are really important.

So make time to improve yourself and do things that will help you become stronger.

-Give yourself lots of love and approval.
-If you don’t know how to love and approve of yourself, think of something you do love unconditionally.
-Think about how much you love that person or thing and feel it
-Just do that and you’ll be loving yourself more!
-Try doing one thing you’ve been putting off (mine was going to the bank and depositing a check I’ve been carrying around)
-Do one that that aims you in the direction you want (this can take a minute or two — maybe it’s just making a list)

It’s incredibly energizing to do the things we procrastinate –> and yes this advice is coming from a master procrastinator.Even though you might at first think THIS IS GOING TO SUCK and not be fun, getting stuff done is actually really freeing.

It frees up your mind and energy.

basketP.S., I just found out my BFF from college is pregnant. I am so excited! But in my own morbid way it makes me think of this movie scene from Space Balls.

 

Fear of Happiness = WTF

So I’m working on an ebook for this site. It’s almost done. Just a short one. I’ve got a good pen name and I’m pretty excited to put some more book material together.

I want to publish a bunch of books that I can link to on this site, so the pen name allows me to be as honest as I want. There is nothing that excites me more than writing books.

The craziest thing about this book is that I’m writing about how to use affirmations and going WAY BACK into some deep unconscious stuff.

I never realized before that I am afraid to be happy.

Like it doesn’t feel safe. Happiness feels like a sham. It feels like if I allow it to burst out of me that someone will steal it away.

There is is something scary and ugly behind this fear… like it’s a really sad, hopeless feeling related to how I feel about happiness.

-Like that it’s not possible for a sustained period, or that it’s unsafe.
-That it’s better to stay unhappy and have less to lose. :(
-It’s not OK to be happy with things as they are.
-You can be punished for being happy (wft?)
-You don’t deserve to be happy.

This is kind of a what-the-fuck moment (so f-words must be spoken here). And then the next thought:

You can get past this.

Thank you.

It’s just automatic thoughts from the past. Things I decided when I was a kid and didn’t have the ability to think for myself.

Now I am older. I can decide how I want to feel. I can put this conflict to rest. I can choose what I want to carry around.

The choice is instantaneous, but the work takes time. It is true, though, that this stuff starts with awareness.

Stop shoving shit down your throat and thinking you can bury it. What you bury will come up to bother you until you can look it in the face.

THAT’S ALL YOU HAVE TO DO. Just look shit in the face.

Be brave enough to feel it.

Say, “hey, yes, I see you.”

Hold it in your hand. It’s just a belief.  It might feel like the dark night of the soul, but no bigger than a grain of sand.

Allow it to go. Allow it to leave your body, like you would a roaring laugh.

You can actually feel stuff come up and go if you let it.

One author here says this about fear of happiness:

The easiest thing to do is to create a series of inner and outer barriers. Stop happiness cold in it’s tracks before it can play it’s familiar game: Joy followed by pain.

So, over time, you close yourself off to opportunities which shrinks your world and your life down to a much more easily controlled series of predictable events.

Geez… if I really am living this way… it’s not acceptable.

I want to be the best version of myself I can be.

Going All the Way

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.

This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift.

All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds.

And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that.

You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

― quote by Charles Bukowski

Things You Fear Most Can Heal You

Last night I had a dream about the concept of the world as a game.

It was a pretty profound dream because it reminded me that this world is kind of a joke (read a post about this). If we can see it that way we become more powerful.

Instead of believing everything we see and fear as a fact, this world is akin to a board game. It’s not huge and terrifying; it’s a illusion.

Like what if it really was a game and the goal of the game was to face your fears and realize they are NOTHING?

In the dream I had to find a group of four people to pair up with. It was really fun at first and there was a huge group of people. But at one point a girl was taken away from all of us — she was eliminated — and at that point I realized it was game.

It was announced that the winner of the game would be the last person eliminated. They would win a large amount of money.

We had to pair up again, but this time everyone was nervous. There were zombie-like people participating and it got creepy. This scary looking man approached me and I started screaming.

Then I remembered the prize… and that I was being judged and could be eliminated for showing fear… so I opened my eyes and stared at him. He walked up to me and I didn’t blink.

I concentrated on breathing and loving him and not showing an ounce of concern.

It was like passing a test. We then had to pair up again into a foursome, this time with some of the zombie people. I couldn’t find a group. No matter who I asked, everyone already had partners.

Finally, I went outside and found people alone who were trying to play the game on their own.

That didn’t seem like a good way to win either, so I went over to a very-scary run down house. I knocked on the door. I could see a skinny druggie-induced man inside. He was disgusting. I didn’t care. I asked if he needed another person on their team.

The man smiled and invited me in and I realized he was friendly even though he looked like death.  I would be on a team of zombies and that this might be the way to win. I befriended the enemy. The judges would never eliminate someone who showed courage.

Then my alarm went off…

What if life really was like that?

Side-story:

Do you remember that scary movie The Ring? I somehow found a video store (!) a few weeks ago and rented The Ring 2. In that movie the mom character has to save her son from being possessed. Instead of protecting him she has to drown him.

Then she has to jump off a cliff… Can you imagine if jumping off a cliff was the answer to saving your life?

Can you imagine if doing terrifying things (but obviously not dangerous life-threatening things) could shift the game?

Could you imagine if doing things DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT NOW could help?

Maybe just .005 times different on a scale of 1-100?

I don’t know….

I woke up from that dream with this extreme feeling of strength. It felt so good!

I felt like I could do anything (kind of). :)

Then I started to think about my mind — how it’s just messes me up sometimes. I have anxiety that comes out of nowhere — and it feels like it’s going to kill me or humiliate me.

I feel depressed sometimes and I can’t figure out why.

Next time I feel those things I guess I have to try and step away.

If I let them overcome me, I am told lies.

I am told I am nothing. I have no strength.

I am told things will never change... I will die this way… I might as well just die now… I fear oblivion… I fear facing people…. I will never amount to anything… this pain is forever…

Then I wake up one day and feel better and I DON’T KNOW WHY.

Some of the best stories in the world are about people overcoming things. When you hear about people managing really fucked up situations or coping with circumstances much worse than your own you feel things ease just a little.

Sometimes you just need a string. You need the littlest tiniest thing to reach out for.

Then sometimes when good things catch you, you get another thing, and another.I feel like I need to write down my fears, even though some (all) of them are stupid:

-Getting old and being alone.
-Never amounting to anything.
-Losing my mind.
-Starving to death
-Sitting in heavy traffic that doesn’t move for hours.
-Getting abducted by aliens (haha)
-Dying young
-Dying old
-Dying, period.
-Being locked in a room alone (like seriously, is this ever going to happen?! And better yet if it did, would I be OK? YES. I’d manage it like everything else)
-Realizing that I’m actually in a coma right now and not experiencing anything (haha… this is actually kind of funny too).
-Realizing I’ve been in a bad accident and don’t know who I am anymore and that I’m hallucinating everything I’m experiencing now (Yes, this is why I don’t do drugs — no fucking need here!)
-Having people make fun of me
-Being humiliated in public (wow, I never realized that before)
-Etc…

I don’t know why… but I think the key is NOT CARING EITHER WAY whether these things happen. Now THAT IS craaaazzzzyyyyyy.

-So I’m going to starve to death today? Who gives a shit. I’m already 100% OK so I don’t have to worry or fret. It’s just part of the game!

-So aliens abducted me and I don’t know where I am? It’s fine I’m OK. (actually I’m still scared of this one, haha — I need to release on it).

-So I’m losing my fucking mind?! Well, it never helped that much anyway. Go right ahead.

You know what it is? It’s not clinging so hard to fears, not needing them to be a certain way. And believing that at your deepest core you are always 100% OK.

You are OK NO MATTER WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU OR WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

You can be burned, shot, assaulted, attacked by zombie people and at your core you are still OK. Because at your core you are unchangeable and forever and acceptable.

Let’s go ahead and say that is one of my reasons to live for today.

LET’S PLAY THIS GAME OUR WAY!

Hey Anxiety, I’m Winning

I hope everybody out there is doing all right. I’m been busy moving and settling in. I think about this blog often and I hope it helps people even if there isn’t a post every day.

I’ve been working on an ebook, but got stalled when thinking about publishing it under my own name. Because I’m searching for a job and I know I’ll be Googled (bleh!)  I think I’m going to use a pen name. We’ll see if I get off my butt and do it.

Anyone got a great last name suggestion? Not joking.

Everything else is pretty good.

I always want to be honest here, but I’m not always sure the line where honestly is too personal and I should edit myself.

I’m not the greatest editor so SCREW SUGAR COATING AND NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. Let’s talk about what is working right now:

$4 of helpfulness

I made myself go back on an SSRI (antidepressant medication) and I swear I can tell the difference. It’s glorious because it’s one you can get from Walmart for $4. Seriously amazing for that price. You can get a 20mg prescription and cut the pills in half for a kiddie dose.

Or take the full 20mg on days you don’t feel right.

I feel like more of a functional human being with it.

One of my good friends (actually, I suspect like 75% of my friends) also takes something and swears by it.

Let’s Discuss the Safe Zone!

My friend and I were really funny together before I left San Diego.

We went to a film festival. A few other friends came and we went into a movie theatre and sat in a crowded middle row.

I started looking around and realized I felt  claustrophobic and panicy. Like we’re talking, “oh shit, do I really have to sit here for the next 90 minutes? This is going to be PAINFUL.”

I didn’t want to say anything, but then I just blurted it out. “Can we sit in another row?”

My friend who is just like me started nodding her head in agreement. Her and I leaped up and we ended up going to the balcony where hardly anyone was sitting and took end seats.

Then we started laughing uncontrollably. It’s such a beautiful thing to relate to someone that way. She was cracking up and telling me, “I didn’t think I could sit there a minute longer. I’m so glad you said something.”

Then we made a joke we were in the “Safe Zone.”

This made us laugh even harder. We both know it’s all in our heads, but that anxiety feels scary and paralyzing.

Her and I really bonded the last few weeks. Sharing all this stuff with her and having that understanding with no judgment I just wanted to say, “I love you” to her.

I never realized I could love a fellow introvert with a similar personality to me SO MUCH.

Breathing helps too, imagine that

Another friend helped me in a totally amazing way. This girl really has her shit together and she was telling me about a breathing exercise that helps when you’re anxious.

I’ve been doing it daily and IT HELPS.

I rarely have panic attacks, but my problem is an intense fear of them, so I’ve started paying attention to my breathing when I feel uncomfortable.

It’s so simple it’s silly!

So you do a 3,2,7 breathing thingy. Take this seriously…

You breathe in — focusing on breathing into your abdomen — for a count of 3. Literally count it in your head: 1…2…3.

Then hold the breath for two. 1…2.

Then breathe out for seven. 1….2…3…4…5…6…7

Repeat like 5x at least 3x a day, or whenever you want to relax.

I wasn’t expecting the advice. It’s amazing the gems people will give you if you’re open to them.

Hold on tight. Everything is going to be all right.

This is not my cat, but sleeping kitties are a reason to live. Yeah?!

Last thing:

Overheard conversation at coffeeshop:

Guy #1: “Hey! Anything going on today?”
Guy #2: “Minecraft got a big update.”

Let’s all try to contain our EXCITEMENT. omggggg. I obviously don’t  know what Minecraft is… But if I did… you’d have to restrain  me. I must stop talking about this now.

Reasons to live… What is your reason?