Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We are All Boring Assholes

Why don't we, as a planet, invest more into personality and character? So much energy seems to be put into science/technology/manufacturing/economic activity etc that we're turning into an awfully boring bunch of assholes.

Engineering drafting room, 1962

If aliens landed on our planet, they might think "Good God, these lot are miserable. They fight a lot and like to build stuff, but they're not much fun to be around."

Do you think that when a civil engineer finally completes a masterpiece of a bridge that he's been working on for years, that he stops and goes "Heavens above! Boy was that fun!" I can't imagine it. It must be years of stress, toil and grief. And then relief that it's over. Thankfully our lives are a lot more convenient because of this great work, but I'm just proposing the idea (cos I'm an expert) that maybe we have overcompensated in this area. Maybe we've got the whole engineering thing down pretty good, but that collectively we're stuck in the momentum of a technological obsession. 

What we don't seem to be good at is personality and character. Treating each other well. Havin' a laugh. Actual good times. Adventures etc. It seems that we like to "buy" good times instead. We use crutches. Alcohol, drugs, one week package holidays in some poor country but we stay in the resort. And then at least you can say you've been there. Paid good times. "Let's take some Facebook snaps!!"

Anyway, it would just be cool if there were more actual viable, economically sound incentives for us to pursue careers in personality/character driven professions. Basically, could we all just have a little more laughter and weirdness? There's no rule book that says that we have to be so serious. Let's have a bit a of craic now that we're so technologically advanced. I don't want to live my life sleeping in a tube enjoying life in virtual reality, while robots are harvesting me like a battery because we've made them too clever. Because they WILL fry our asses for breakfast.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Super Friendly Sunday Biker


"Hey . . . . excuse me Sir?? Yes you. Are there any like bike trails, or nature walks around here, so I can like . . . . ride around and enjoy the bliss and freedom of nature and like . . . . you know ride my bike like . . . . . all around . . . .in nature?? Hmmm???"

"Yeah, uhhh . . . . there's . . . . uhhh . . . . just go, uhhh, up this street, take a left, and . . . . . you should see a big mountain, and then head directly for that, It's got a lot of nature . . . stuff. Just go that way"

"Thank you mister!! You're so super friendly!! May your life be blessed with butterflies and rainbows!! See yaaaaaa!"

"Skeeter! Let's scoot! That guy scared the pants off me!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The "Talk Your Crap Out With Someone" Method

Frustration 

 OK, so there's been major upheaval in your life. It feels as though life has literally turned itself upside down. It feels as though the magnetic poles of your mind have mysteriously flipped their axis. Unrecognizable. And at the same time terrifying. Panic sets in. Pure isolation, even when surrounded by familiar people. For some reason, it seems that life chooses NOW as the best time to start throwing a million curve balls your way. And you can't quite dodge the rocks being hurled due to a numbing phenomenon which slows down your reflexes.

This "numbing" phenomenon is the result of falling off an "emotional cliff", in my opinion. The feeling part of you gets stunned. And you sit there wide eyed with a glazed look on your face. And no one seems to back off. A lot of "ego" types will jump at this opportunity to score a few points against you, brimming with self-confidence as they tally up small satisfactions. And you sit there thinking "You had to have a go now!?? I swear to God when I get back in shape you are going to pay heavily".

What happens to me specifically is that neurosis sets in. Over thinking. Replaying situations over and over again in my mind. There's a disconnect from reality. People's words don't seem to register fully. I think that there's no other way but for these thoughts to just come out. They have to. The danger is that this can set in strong, and over thinking may become your new default setting. Then life will be pure hell. With these thoughts all triggering negative feelings.

The thing that I try and do normally is come back to the present moment. In any way I can. When watching a movie, I go as far into observation as possible, where the obsessive thoughts slowly float away. But then, at another time, they might come back with a vengeance and kick my ass for a day or two. All these negative thoughts triggering negative feelings. And the more I try to "box in" these thoughts, the more pent up aggression and energy seems to build up, nearly to a boiling point. And this is where people snap and have major freak outs. So this present moment awareness works up to a point, but there's another method I've found that works along side present moment awareness. It's the "talk all your crap out with someone"method. It acts like a release valve.

Just sit their with a good friend or family member with the intention of getting out whatever needs to come out. Approach it intuitively. When you start off it will be awkward. But keep going. The conversation starts to become more fluid and natural. Eventually your thoughts are flowing at rapid velocity and it feels like you're going to a find some profound insight. You probably will. Keep it going. And then at a point it becomes overkill and you just have to stop when it feels like you should.

The feeling after is of huge relief. You've gotten everything off your chest. You walk around carrying less weight. We have a weird culture sometimes of keeping everything in until the explosion happens. Whatever has to come out will come out. Sometimes violently. You can either stuff it all in to the pressure cooker, or slowly release all the pressure by "talking about whatever needs to be spoken about" out of you. In a healthy way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Things in Life go Tits-Up

Well, ya, I've just had that "life throws about a million curveballs" experience over the last few months. Ha, what fun times. Amazing the way it bunches up together as well. Really well played life. Good game ol' chap.

He's a sneaky little devil, too. Gets you all nice and comfortable and then WHAMOOO! Booosh! Bash!! Wallop! A flurry of punches leaves you bewildered, your is ass on the canvass, scrambling around frantically, looking for a familiar face in the crowd, some words of encouragement maybe, drool running down your face.

01/03/2013 British Lionhearts 2-3 Ukraine Otamans

I'm not gonna get too specific about it but I will say that the last few months have involved failing miserably by trying to get over a girl, back living with my parents again for a few months, moving out into a shared apartment only to find out weeks later that it's infested with bed bugs, a wisdom tooth decided NOW is THE best time to try and shove it's way through my face, the deadly disease "Ebola" decides to visit the town in which I work, and the scariest one of all is one of my close relatives ends up in a coma after an accident at work.

"Ya, we've got some Karma for this guy here. Whats say we deal it out in small little manageable bits? How do you wanna handle this Bill?"

"Godammnit Frank, I aint got time for this!!! Unload that shit! Have you seen the backlog lately?? These earth people are utter bastards to eachother! We need fast and effective emergency dumps or else total and complete chaos will follow!"

So, ya, fine, the guys up there are a bit busy I reckon. But it's no wonder why people turn to drugs and alcohol.

"Do you need a fast and easy solution to all of life's problems?? Well why not try out.....drugs and alcohol!! Our latest product! Our team of diabolically evil researchers have been working tirelessly to develop our latest formula, specifically designed to ease the pain of life's little misfortunes. Buy now and you will recieve a free supply of ,,,,,,,,,,shame and guilt, absolutely FREE! Terms and conditions apply. Always read the label. This product will severely impair your ability to function properly. We're talking depression, impotence, complete mind fucking, the whole shebbang. Don't come crying to us when things go wrong. We just want your money. "

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Find a Job That's Worth Living For!

Scuba Diving - Mauritius 

Alright, let's face it. A gigantic proportion of your life will be spent working. Very few escape the trap of a 9-5 job. And let's face another aspect of it. It will SUCK. Big time. Drain the life and energy from you. Bore you to tears. Drive you crazy. Make you miserable.

So what can you do about it? What you can do is look at your options. Many people seem to jump straight onto the tracks with a job and away they go. Years go on and they might still be stuck on the same tracks. When I had this issue, I started getting imaginative about it. And just started exploring more options.

When not working, I stopped doing the things I always did on auto-pilot (stuck on youtube, flickin through TV channels, mindless chit-chat with whoever etc), I sat down in a quiet space and started imagining. I said to myself "If I could do anything in the world, what would I do?". I had complete freedom of thought. I could do anything.

I thought to myself "What I really want is to be happy. I don't need millions in the bank to be happy. I just need enough to fund a good lifestyle and save a little". The enjoyment doesn't come from the millions in the bank. The enjoyment comes from bouncing out of bed with energy because I'm doing a job that is fun. It doesn't suck the life out of me.

I look forward to doing it. That, to me, is worth more than millions in the bank. You might slave away for years and finally make a million, but you also might have been miserable that whole time making the money. Now, that you do have the money, you might be in such a miserable state that you wouldn't even know how to enjoy it. How to have fun with it.

Start looking for jobs that would be exciting. If you love travelling, try and become a travel writer. If you love diving, become a diving instructor in somewhere like South East Asia. Why not? You only get one shot at life. Travel the coasts of Australia as a surfing instructor. Open your own hostel in some sort of jungle/paradise location. Teach English in Thailand or Vietnam. The point is to shoot for the things in your imagination that get you buzzing the most. These jobs don't pay huge salaries but imagine the adventures you'll have.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stop Trying To Change The World!

Great Ocean Drive, Esperance 

There seem to be an awful lot of people that want to change the world. Or their own external environment. It's a mindset that says "Once I have X,Y and Z, I'll be happy". Maybe someone with a predominant mindset of greed and ego will think that once they have a fancy car, a huge house, millions in the bank, their own little empire that . . . . . . then! Finally, they'll be happy! It's an attempt at controlling the external.

Then on the other side there is anger. Somebody frustrated with the world and their position in life will get that rebellious streak, and start hating on everything. Their government is doing them wrong, society is fixed, the "system" is grinding down upon them, any number of conspiracy theories will justify their position. And maybe they're right. But they will rant and rave to try and change the external world.

You can find evidence for any belief that you have. If you believe that the world is against you, you will find a million examples for it. If you believe that the world is beautiful you will find a million examples for that as well. You're just putting different lenses on to view life. You're just choosing whether to "tune in" to the greedy side of life, or the hateful side of life, or the beautiful side of life etc etc. It's all up to you.

But a lot of people think that they can change the way people think by aggressively pointing their finger at all these "no good" people, and giving them their piece of mind. When a teacher in school would tell me what to do in that manner, I pushed against it and had the impulse to do the opposite. It's a natural impulse. But the teacher that I looked up to, and respected just by the good example that they lived up to, I would want to listen to them. Because they weren't forcing me to do something, they were great at what they did, we genuinely respected them, they were showing the way and we listened.

The attempt at always controlling the external can only end badly. Things change. Someone buys a better house, a better car, another government declares war, more bad guys do more bad stuff and you're there trying to run around extinguishing everything. The external world changes very rapidly. But the one thing you have true power over is yourself. And your reaction to the external world.

If more people on Earth mastered their own internal adventure, the world would be a better place. There are 7 billion internal adventures happening right now. Based on the state of things, a lot of them seem to be stuck at the level of fear, anger, greed, lust etc. These are impulses of the "beast" side of us. Mastering the internal adventure would get you to Enlightenment, where things like Joy, Happiness and Fun belong. Which is what we really want deep down I think.

Once you're there, let people know how you got there. If they want to listen, they will. Imagine if a higher % of the 7 billion were further along in their adventure. Right now more of us are tuned into that low level. What they should really be teaching in school is how to be happy. So we all feel good all the time.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Good Times Have Got to Win Over

sunrise/sunset

Life is a weird story of ups and downs, good characters, nasty characters, corrupt groups of people, corporations, inspirational figures, beautiful settings, desert landscapes with red skies and the ripple effect of the sun, beautiful, lush green landscapes, monkeys swingin' about "Wahaa haa haa!". It's mental. It's all just one big story. You die, and a million more people are born to experience their story. And this has been going on for billions of years. It's absolutely mental.

But a lot of the experience seems to be based on grinding through, determination, battling on, crawling your way through the mud, hoping that there actually is a glimmer of light somewhere. And you might get a bit of peace when you get there. My own internal imagery seems to be this: me strappin my boots on, hiking boots with big, massive, clanky steel teeth which crush rocks, and my legs are pumping, pumping on through rock and mud never stopping. But the mud sucks you into it, and you start sinking, but then you gain some kind of grip and just keep pumping those legs. It's an internal, symbolic metaphor which always pops into my mind.

But maybe I shouldn't fight and just let go? Many years ago I would go with the flow no matter what, and I ended up getting stuck in real bad circumstances, depressed, souless. So the only thing that makes sense is to keep pumping those legs and crushing rocks and get my head out above the mud so I can breathe again. Just go in the direction of good feeling. So if this makes sense to any anyone, great, just keep kickin' life's ass instead of getting your ass handed to you. Get yourself a big life whoopin stick and start busting through.

If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going ~ Winston Churchill

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shall I go with the Ego? Or Feel Good?

Total Success 

It is my opinion that an awful lot of trouble in the world can be traced back to ego. In my experience, and I'm breaking this down to very simple ideas, there have been two methods by which I have approached life. Either  feeling good and having fun (spirit) or trying to be the best (ego).

In my early years, and I'm sure this is the same for most kids, all I wanted to do was have fun. I never worried at all. The grownups had things covered. My job was to run around, jump over things, climb under things, and chase a lot of other things. It was great. Fun all the way.

And then as I got older, a lot of pressure seemed to be shifted onto me. Do well at school! Get good grades! Dress neatly! Look your best! Do your homework! Do your best for your sports team! If you're not good enough you won't get to play! Make sure you get into college! If you don't go to college you'll have no hope in life! And on and on and on. You don't want to be in the uncool gang, you wanna hang around with the cool kids. Girls want to be the most beautiful. Guys want to be the toughest, the "jockiest" etc. It all really just turned into competition. The fun had disappeared.

For most people this goes well on into their adult lives. Get the best qualification. Get the high paying job. You might be stressed outta your mind but it's high paying. Try your best to gravitate to a certain class of people. Get married at the appropriate age. Have kids. Present to facebook your happy, successful life. Big smiles. Be the best. Have the most. Be the smartest. Be the top of the list.

What struck me one day was that all of this was only playing out within the realm of the mind. The mind can only compare. Better, worse. Beautiful, ugly. Smart, stupid. But the one thing it can't do is feel. It can sense satisfaction at a particular configuration or arrangement in life. However complex it may get. But it can never feel good. That seems to be something else entirely.

The way to dismantle the ego (being top of every list) in my opinion is by chasing anything that feels good to the soul. The chesty feeling within you. This to me is emotional intelligence. It is a method for climbing out of depression, and has worked for me. Just intuitively go through life building that good feeling within your chest, heart, soul whatever. Getting your spirits up. Having fun. Having a laugh. Having good freinds. Not the best freinds. Buying only the things in life that help you feel good. Not working like crazy just to have the best car, the best clothes, the biggest house. Having a good personality. Having good times. Having adventures. This is just my theory. Hope it makes sense.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Keep walking and feel good 

One thing that I've noticed more and more now is that you become what you think. Your thoughts slowly develop into habits, actions, your overall character etc. This would be the inside working it's way out to the world as your expression. A good thought on the inside will eventually work it's way out as a positive action to the outside world. Same goes for a negative thought. 

Now, the reverse of this would be the outside world acting inwards on the self. Negative events always seem to drain good feeling inside. Positive events give good feeling to the soul. Just like good organic food gives life and energy to the body, and junk food drains physical health. It's the outside source acting it's way inward. You've just got to pick the outside sources that make you feel better. 

And this, to me, really is what emotional intelligence is about. It is the ability to accurately detect whether you feel good or bad after putting your focus on something. Do you feel good or bad when you watch the news? Do you feel good or bad when you hang around with complete assholes? Do you feel good or bad when you watch an inspiring movie? Do you feel good or bad when you hang around great friends? 

There are an awful lot of people who seem to be tuned in to a high degree on all the negative things in the world. Wars, violence, disasters etc. Sometimes it's even an attempt at compassion which is commendable. But what I see more and more is that it tends to fill a person with hate and overall negative feeling, and they will start hating pretty much anything. Everything becomes a conspiracy. It is a fascination with the problem. The "problem" is that focusing on the problem always tends to leave too large of an imprint on the self. No solution is found. In essence you become the very thing that you are so focused on. You "become" the problem. It starts to own you. 

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else — you are the one who gets burned.” - The Buddha

The biggest change I made to myself after years and years of anger and even obsession with" the brutal world" was to say "Fine there's loads of shit in the world, but get over it, and find your happiness". I started focusing on all the good things in the world. The good movies. The good music. Good books. Good friends. A job that made life seem better. Anything that made me feel better. The outside acting in. But the key is also to work from the inside out. I started choosing better thoughts. I stopped beating myself up all the time. I would think to myself "Hmmm, all my fear seems to have disappeared. I feel good inside. I'm a good guy". Some of it was pure bluff, but the more I said it the more I believed it and the more I became it.

It's just really looking at life from a different angle. And choosing to focus on the solutions and good things in life. Become the good example that people will be inspired to be. There's an awful lot of pointing at the problem going on, so why not buck the trend and be that person who points at the solution, who says"This way guys, I think we'll all feel better if we just go this way!" Because I'm pretty sure that we weren't born to feel terrible everyday of our lives. Start feeling good. Emotional intelligence isn't some highly sophisticated thing that the word "intelligence" seems to imply. I think it's just the ability to make yourself feel good. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Light Your Inspiration On Fire!

Boxer in the Shadows, Havana, Cuba, 2001

If there's one job that I can think of that can do more towards improving your general life situation it is inspiring yourself. Somehow, in any way you can, lighting the fire within yourself gets you up, gives you courage to smash through setbacks and obstacles, you start flying rather than crawling, you start shouting rather than whispering. A soul that is set on fire can get through pretty much anything.

You may be battered and bruised, your confidence may be shot down to a million pieces, you might be tired of getting up time after time, looking up at the person or people that mentally beat you down day after day, the drudgery, the getting up each morning to face more hell, more assault and chipping away at your soul, a million petty comments that sap your confidence each time. But if you can still light the fire in your soul after all this, there's nothing that can stop you from making a comeback.

See yourself doing the Ali shuffle as a victory dance, loud and confident, brave and unstoppable. Laughing at your enemy. "Haha sucker, is that all you got? You can't hurt me, you're fighting the champion". You've got energy and inspiration, your heart and soul is soaring above the clouds. Every atom in your body is charged with energy, a lightening bolt is gonna strike at any time. Zap! Kabaam! There's a fierceness in your eyes, the contents of your soul beaming straight out at the world, wild, "I'm not gonna take this no more!" See yourself smashing your way through life with energy and passion.

Then bring yourself back down to earth every once in a while! And be humble too.

Feel Good in 10 Minutes Using Your Imagination

Imagination - HNBD 

 When you feel "off", or your mind feels overworked and stressed, use this simple technique to give yourself a recharge. Get away from the TV, the Internet, your Laptop etc. Sit in your favourite armchair or lay on your bed. Just go somewhere peaceful and quiet, and away from any distractions.

First of all, it is best to quiet and still your mind with an easy meditation. Just close your eyes and listen to the sounds all around you; the traffic outside your window, the birds in your garden, somebody pottering around in the room next door. Once you put your focus on these sounds it creates a feeling of calmness within you. You are giving your brain a much needed time-out. Thoughts of your job, money, or relationship issues might force themselves to cross your mind but just keep returning back to the sounds of your environment.

You can use any of your senses as tools to meditate with. Feel the sensations of your body, try and detect the good feeling of the soul within you. Some focus all of their attention on a candle flame. You can even use smell as a focal point, though I've never tried this.

You can skip the meditation and go straight this next Imagination technique if you like. It is important to understand that your thoughts create your feelings. If you had 100 thoughts to use in 1 day, and 90 of them were negative, anxious thoughts, you would without a doubt feel anxious that very day. Extend this bad habit to weeks, months and years and no doubt about it, you will be a depressed and anxious person, like I was for nearly 15 years of my life.  One of the biggest breakthroughs I made was understanding that I get to choose my thoughts. Everyone does.

So, now carrying on with the "100 thoughts a day" analogy, I choose to think of 100 great feeling thoughts a day instead of 90 or so negative, anxious bad feeling thoughts. The result is that I feel great, I feel confident, and I feel like I can conquer the world. And I do this by bluffing or tricking myself into believing that "I have no fear", "I feel calm and peaceful inside", "everything is going to be great from now on" using good feeling thoughts alone. I think these thoughts until I actually feel it and believe it. They form my core beliefs.

You can't just read the words written here and feel good, you've got to actually practice it. Use your imagination to come up with the most exciting, daring, full of life thoughts that you can think of. For example: "My mental health is in great shape right now". "I have got an unlimited amount of energy within myself". "Soon I will be travelling the most interesting cities in the world doing the job I love".  See the life you want to live. Feel the sensation of it. See yourself with the girl of your dreams. See yourself buying the house you've always wanted. For me, personally, I aim more at the spiritual side of things, like a good soul feeling, but it's up to you what you'd like to attract.

At the very least, you will feel a lot better after 10 minutes. At it's best, it will instill hope and joy and enthusiasm for a world that you know you can create. It can give you a massive spring in your step and you can look forward with great enthusiasm to doing the work required to get there. The work won't feel like a drag. You will feel Inspired. Do this for hours a day, every day and there's no telling what you could achieve.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Get Philosophical Every Now and Then!

                  Pensando... / Thinking...

It's really strange to see how much personal freedom we actually allow ourselves. Busy, busy, busy. Keep going. Keep the act up. There's even those people who pretend to be so busy, and wear it like a badge of honour, so that maybe people will look at them and say "Wow what a busy person, so much going on in their lives! I wish I was that busy!" when really if you break it down, the person with this "so much going on with my life" persona is half the time just putting on a big act to try and impress the people around them. With big smiles on their faces to let everyone know how happy they appear to be.

When I look at a person like that all I see is a big juggling act to keep their image up, and not to let it slip. But I don't see any real joy in it.  What I actually admire is a person that is willing to take time off for themselves. You need personal time for yourself, first of all to know yourself better, but second of all to get your mind together. To get things in your head straight. The ability to sit down and reflect on your life and to imagine a good future for yourself is worth a lot. Try and limit outside influences as much as possible. Because these voices are strong when you're in "busy, busy" mode. But once you find a bit of peace and quiet for a significant amount of time, you can really start to get a sense of yourself.

To me it feels like a process that goes "expend your energy (when around people a lot), rejuvenate (solitude), expend your energy, rejuvenate". That cycle is pretty important. When I would hang around people for days, and days, and even months on end, whatever originality I seemed to have seemed to get sucked out of me. It all got expended. And when you're running dry on originality or whatever your own "thing" is, things just get ugly and tiresome. From my experience anyway. Outside influences rub off on you a little too much and you start doing what others do a little too often. The outside is acting in on you, rather than your originality working from within coming out.

The key is to have balance. Spend too much time by yourself and you'll get lonely, but spend too much time around people and you'll get too irritable. You gotta work the two different states off eachother when it feels right to do so.

The major problem I see is that we get nearly no personal free time at all. Even when you go home, you might be glued to the TV or laptop, or whatever other bit of technology that seems to keep us entranced. And then there's work, washing the dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, even keeping up with the latest TV series seems like homework sometimes etc etc. Then sleep and repeat. Sleep, repeat. One big change that I made at a stage in my life when i was highly irritable and also depressed was to get away from it all. I turned the TV off. I got away from the computer. Even away from people generally. And I sat and I reflected. Just lying on my bed, in my room, throwing a tennis ball up in the air just to keep myself awake while I thought about life.

It felt like an ocean of thought that was totally random going on in my head. And by sitting down and "getting my head straight", getting everything together I was gonna put some structure to it all. It really is just learning to tame the mind. Instead of the mind controlling you, throwing you about life here and there in a confused manner. I would sit for hours just thinking about life, what is was, why is was so bad, how I was gonna get out of it. Just trying to put some meaning to it all. The thing that really did it was to break "the mess" down into simple parts. I tried to look at the core mechanics.

What did I want most of all? To be happy. Ok, that's a start. Were my immediate surroundings any good? Not really. The immediate culture of life around me was hard to fit into. Ok, so maybe I could try and put myself in better surroundings, maybe go travelling? Was my mental health any good? No. I beat myself up at every opportunity I had. Ok so I'm gonna learn how to get mentally healthy. What about my physical health? No, I have a terrible diet. Ok, so thats enough to work on for now. If I work on some of those key areas and improve them, maybe my depression will lift. So then I went about working on those areas, and it took months and even years but eventually things got better.

The thing you can't do with this is over indulge in it. Because that can develope "over thinking" and disengagement with reality etc. You really have got to re-engage with reality every now and then, and then go back to "philosophizing" about life. The best method for engaging with reality is present moment observation. Just observe your surroundings. And the overthinking will lift. But if you can learn to get away from everything every once in a while, and ponder life, it can be a great tool for life and your happiness.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Live Your Life and Side-step the Distractions

I have a nasty habit of falling into distractions. They get me every time. Every single time. Maybe I'll waste three hours on Facebook, clickin' away from one page to the other. Lookin' up old friends to see what they're up to now. Mindless. I'll look at the clock after three hours and the pang of guilt hits me. Why???? For so long???

Likes on Facebook 

On another day, maybe I'll waste a few hours on YouTube, getting lost in the suggested links section. Utterly and completely unaware of time. Some people might say "It happens when you're in the ZONE man....time just flies by!". But there are a lot better things that could be "zoned" into than random "vines" clips.

The mind on auto-pilot is a weird thing. It eats up small satisfactions like Pac-Man eats his fruits and little dots. Just chompin away on the small things in life. How many people do you know who's lives' seem like this? They're just chompin' away on small satisfactions in life. I have met my fair share. Nom nom nom nom nom. Sleep. Wake up. Nom nom nom nom. Flickin' away on the TV remote. Playing "candy crush" on their phones. Nom nom nom. Mindlessly gossiping about people. Nom nom nom.

monsters

To me, this is junk food for the mind and soul. I think I "feel" emotions pretty well. If I'm in bad shape, I really "feel" in bad shape. Dreadful. I might get comments like "relax, it's not so bad" but down in my core I know it feels wrong when I mindlessly go through life. But most people who are "thicker-skinned" and "feel" less seem absolutely content. They could bounce a tennis ball to each other for 6 hours a day and be as happy as could be. I wish I could do that, and just be fine with it.

But I've always wanted to LIVE and FEEL GOOD. To actually LIVE a LIFE. But to live a good life I've always thought that I needed to work, work, and work like hell until I could figure out a way to make money doing the things I love, and maybe then I could LIVE. Oh boy what a hellish trail to take. Pure torture. To me it feels like going into the wilderness of the mind, or goin' a little crazy. Work, work, work and drive yourself further into the darkness of neurosis.

My mind would conjure up a million different scenarios. "How will I make money?" "What job will I do?", "How will I get there?" and I would spend hours, upon hours, upon hours on the internet looking for the answer. But the whole time I felt miserable. What I've learnt is that that miserable feeling is like my compass. If it feels wrong, it's the wrong way.

The only time I've really felt good is when I have decided to LIVE instead of chasing money and a million different ways to make a great life. Just live. Now. Get away from the computer. Get away from your own thoughts. Start living. Well how do I live? I ask myself "What makes for a good life?" Answers soon come like "be healthy, feel good, go on adventures, meet a lot of people, love people, have good character, get in touch with spirituality, experience the world".

In the process of starting this blog, I would get lost in the minute details of web design, promotion on stumbleupon, checking my stats every half hours, traffic sources and on and on, yadda yadda yadda Aaahhhhhh!! It drains the life from a person to do things like this. There's merit to some of it, and it has to be done sometimes, but you've really gotto learn to pull away when you notice that you're stuck in the irrelevant details. Not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Hunter S. Thompson via Dan Leister

I'm a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, the "Gonzo" journalist. When I think about what made him such a great writer, it's not his command of vocabulary, perfect grammar, or sentence structure. It's the fact that he knew how to live a LIFE! And he put it down on paper for us all. He wasn't obsessed with the irrelevant details of perfection in writing. His perfection was in LIVING. That's the gold stuff right there. I would much rather read the messy scribblings of a wild adventure, than read the perfect prose of a person who spent their whole life perfecting this prose behind a laptop. It's not a life.

You are what you do. Spend your whole life reading books? You'll sound like a book. Spend your whole life watching the news? You'll sound like the news. Spend your whole life cleaning your house? You'll know nothing else but house cleaning. But spend you're whole life LIVING a life. Of adventure. Of good character. Of meeting people from different cultures. Of seeing beautiful mountains and jungles and landscapes of the world? Well, then you'd have a story to tell.

Mountains outside Narvik

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

- Hunter S. Thompson

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Get The Basics of Life Right First!

                Tree

When you look at your life as a whole, there are a couple of key, fundamental aspects which make a huge impact on the quality of life you experience. Like the solid trunk of a tree, you can grow steadily from this foundation. Some of these things can seem so basic when you look at them, but I've often wondered to myself why I had not figured them out before. And why I had expended so much energy on the irrelevant distractions in life, rather than these basic fundamentals. This is kinda like gettin' your hands dirty with the metaphorical "nuts and bolts" of life.

One of the greatest factors to consider is your health. Mental and physical. Your health has the single largest broad sweeping effect on your happiness and life experience. It is the solid foundation on which you can build everything else upon. For example, you cannot run a business if you are low on energy, stressed out, miserable etc. Doing things this way is putting the cart before the horse. You need to be vibrant and full of energy first before creating anything of value. It has to start from the inside and work it's way out to the world.

So look after your physical health. Eat organic foods whenever you can, get lots of sunshine, load your system up with clean fruits and vegetables, start green juicing, eat healthy complex carbs for stable energy throughout the day, get plenty of vitamins and minerals. Eat as "naturally" as you can. Have a vision in your mind that you are gonna feel healthy, and vibrant and full of energy. These things add "life". You will now have the energy to create.

Things that "suck" the life out of your body are things that have been diverted from their natural state. Your body, being a "natural" organism, has to work too hard to assimilate the unnatural things that are put into it. I have yet to see a cheese burger or can of soft drink grow from the ground. But the key is not to start hating on these things. They are nice little snacks and treats sometimes. But start looking to foods that are full of natural life and make these the core foundation of your diet. Soon enough, you will be so healthy that you could afford to treat yourself every now and then with burgers and sugary sweets etc. But fast food as a core foundation of your diet is only going to suck the life and energy out of you. 

Your mental health is another fundamental. Neurosis and "The Monkey Mind" are the greatest obstacles to good mental health. Present moment awareness, positive imagination and good feeling thoughts all create a vibrant outlook on life. Present moment awareness creates razor sharp focus. It also grounds you firmly in reality. Positive imagination and good feeling thoughts provide inspiration, hope as well as creating goals and visions to work towards. 

This is all about starting with the big picture and then working your way through the details. The big picture is happiness. Now divide that into manageable parts. Great physical and mental health can create happiness. Now divide those into manageable parts. Organic fruits, meditation etc. Another fundamental, which I will cover in another post is your environment ie "What you spend your day doing", job etc. But always get back to the big picture of "Happiness" if you get lost in the details. The problem I see a lot is that people say "Once I'm rich, then I'll be happy". They get lost in the details of investing, promotion, working like a maniac, deadlines etc and it becomes a nightmare. They can't see their way out. They lose sight of the bigger picture. So start with the basics. Get those right first. Slow and steady wins the race. Less "crashing and burning" and more "steady sailing ahead". But above all, remember to be happy. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good ol' Character!

By the time I get the courage I am drunk and you are tired...

I have always been a fan of people with great character. Fictional characters also. Personality is there abouts as well, but character seems to spring from somewhere deeper. To me anyway, there seems to be a scale that runs from the shallow end of personality to the deep end of spirituality. And character lies somewhere comfortably in between. I say comfortably because things always seem to work out when you hit that sweet spot in the middle, while experiencing the other extremities now and then for a bit of adventure. But that middle ground is your stability. In Buddhism they like to talk about "the middle way" a lot.

Personality, to me, is based in reality. It is the image of ourselves that we present to others briefly. Banter, chit-chat, small talk all fall into this category. News programs like their weathermen/women to have bubbly personalities. Your favorite fruit and veg grocer might have the same, but you can never get a good sense of a person from this alone. It seems like this personality image can be easily discarded. If you spent your whole life small talking and chit chatting, it would seem wafer thin. It would feel like you spent the whole time splashin' your toes about in the shallow water at the beach. Sure, you'd get a bit of sand and foamy water between your toes, but it would get a bit pointless after a while.

The weird thing is is that some people get stuck in this "extremety". They overindulge in it, and fail to see anything outside of it. Their life is shallow chit chat. Whether it be the weather, their local sports team, their favourite TV show etc. it's all good "common ground" stuff. It greases the social gears at work. Sometimes families even rely on it. But it can become extremely frustrating. Nothing substantial ever gets spoken about. People are always looking for the right thing to say, the socially acceptable point of view. It's the easy way out.

The other extremity is spirituality. It is profound, deep, they talk about "oneness", "reality is just an illusion", "we are the unconscious part of God's dream" etc etc WHAT!!?? That jump between chit chat and "cosmic energy" is just too great. That's why to the average person, spiritual types seem crazy, and why to spiritual types shallow people seem crazy. The shallow "feeling" of small talk seems to crash when it encounters spiritual "we are all projections from the source" talk. And one side ends up thinking the other is crazy.

I have met my fair share of "profound", "deep", "intellectual" people, and I can honestly say it can be just as frustrating as small talk. It's an obsession with "the profoundness" of things. I have been there myself. And I annoyed the hell out of myself. It's just being stuck at the other extremity (the deep end) of things and not being able to see the way out. For example, in the morning you wake up rubbing your eyes, turn and mumble to your partner "what are you doing today...." and your girlfrind/boyfreind says "I'm communicating with my higher self. Reality is just an illusion, we are all God" What!!??

The way to get out of this in my opinion is finding the sweet spot of character. Character lies somewhere in between. When I think of character I think of honesty, courage, bravery, humility etc. Now these things can integrate with everyday life. It's the rock on which you can "build your house". From this stable platform you can indulge in a bit of small talk AND spirituality on the other side. The "leap" isn't THAT great. You're the link between the two extremities. The physical (personality) and the non physical (spiritual).

Anyway, to be a great character you've got to WANT to be a great character. Let your mind go in that direction. It's got to be a vision that pulls you towards it. You will get your own moments of clarity. You will look to great characters that you admire. You will figure out the core principles of their character. Hard work, humor, courage, bravery, honesty. You will incorporate these ideas into your own life. You might see great changes. Anyway, I just like to ramble sometimes and that's that. No great "one liner" sentence that sums it all up. I shall talk more about character in the future.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Letting Your Monkey Mind Float Away And Getting "In The Zone!"

frustrated
I have quite a bit of trouble controlling neurosis or "the monkey mind". It's such a funny thing to figure out. Some people have a natural ability to tune into reality with razor sharp focus. That means that very few thoughts are running through their mind while they absorb information easily. They have a natural ability to "live in the moment". Someone who has obsessive thoughts on the other hand, has extreme difficulty with "living in the moment". It's like a blurred screen which clouds and distorts reality.

Once I get stuck into a state like this it becomes my normal. I somehow fail to recognize that I am in this state, and I slowly drift out of touch with reality. It's like I start skimming over the present moment. This clouded state of being can go on for months without me recognizing that I'm wrapped up in it. And to me anyway, this is a source of anxiety. It feels almost like a state of frenzy. My mind's cogs and wheels will be working overtime to solve some perceived problem which I never seem get to the bottom of. It just keeps going.

This is where perspective gets lost. My world becomes my thoughts. My reference points aren't based on reality anymore, they come from these imagined thoughts. This is why some people are said to be living in "fantasy land". Controlled correctly, imagination can be a great thing, as long as you don't overindulge and remember to "return to reality" ie the present moment every now and then. But a lot of people's imagined thoughts are of a fearful, anxious nature. It's like being stuck in a storm of thought where you forget what peace and calm feel like.

This peace and calm is what many people call "Zen" I suppose. But when I look at sportsmen, it must be what "being in the zone" is. You hear golfers talk about the feeling of "being the ball" while hitting a winning put shot. Their mind is COMPLETELY quiet. They are at peace. Thoughts about "missing the shot" or "oh no, the world is watching me" don't enter their mind at all. They are 100% focused on that little ball. This "being in the zone" is something that I am very fascinated by.

The other end of the spectrum encompasses a wide range of mental disorders in my opinion. When I see a "mentally disturbed" person walking down the street talking to themselves, I am almost certain that they are suffering from extreme addiction to obsessive over thinking. They get to point where they cannot see their way out.

Thoughts create feelings. If you have obsessive thoughts of a fearful nature, your body and self will be filled with fear and anxiety. If this carries on for months and months and maybe years, you will no doubt feel depressed and anxiety ridden. I have first hand experience of this. It is nearly impossible to see anything outside of this state. It is like being lost in the woods. If you have overly obsessive thoughts about making money, those thoughts will keep triggering that "lust for money" feeling. This feeling will keep fueling the over thinking but it isn't true peace and calm, which is what this person is after I'm sure. "Once I make my money, I will be happy".

The way to really experience peace and calm is to "let go" of your thoughts. The best way in my opinion is to focus using your senses. A lot of meditation teachers like to focus on the breath etc. This is fine but I suspect that a lot of people might find this boring and be turned away from it. I like to focus on "busier things". More exciting things. Like watching a sports match. I will see how long I can maintain my focus before I drift away into my thoughts. When I realize that I have been thinking about something else (for like 5 or 10 minutes sometimes!) I return to present observation. Going deeper and deeper into observation. This produces profound effects. You might come across this while reading a book. At the end of a page you might think to yourself "What the hell was I reading!" and have to read it again. The key is to try and sustain your attention for as long as possible, while going as far "into" the object of your attention. It provides an intense feeling of calm. Try it!

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's a Brain Off!

intellectuals at home

Brain-Offs fascinate me. It's a level up from guys who posture about the place with bravado and big muscles, and girls who over indulge in make up and their looks, but it's still within the same ballpark. The name of the game is competition, and the the star of the show is Mr. Ego.

The ego's purpose in life is to win. It shall reign supreme. It will survive and outlast the rest of the field. Weakness is total failure. Lack of general knowledge brings shame and embarrassment. The dull, blunt-edged ego will be shunned and ignored from society. There is no mercy shown to the weak ego. "Keep up, or stand by the sidelines and stay out of the way!" says Mr. Ego

Mr "Hero" Ego generally has a knack for sucking the life out of good times. These are a few examples of what I like to call "Brain Offs" or ego showdowns........

  • Any time you see any political debate. I generally try and stay the hell away from these, unless I want to be reminded of how bad things can get. The other guys are ALWAYS the bad guys, the other guys ALWAYS screwed things up when they last were in charge, the other guys are ONLY interested in serving themselves. It's just points scoring. The winners have their ego's soothed, the losers lick their wounds. No one really feels good about anything at all. Small satisfactions here and there keep them goin. Their faces show signs of severe miserableness. 
  • The "life and soul of the party" guy. Genuine, authentic life and soul is great, but we all know guys that when they enter a room, theres lots of back slapping, arching back pointing at people, people pointing back laughing loudly, there's no real joke or anything really funny, it's just a bunch of people pointing at eachother. It's a weird thing to see. It's even weirder that they're serious about it. If girls are around this is ramped up like 5 notches. It can become unbearable.
  • The "bat away the competition with cheap shots" person. That person who enters the room with a smug look and dirty cheap shots. This can kill a good laugh and good times pretty fast. Easy "crutch" jokes are used a lot. Mother jokes, your sister jokes, your team sucks jokes basically guys with open weaknesses are picked up on first. Very unoriginal and most of it stolen material. No real good times at all. 
  • Friendly banter that turns into an ego showdown. General chit chat and merriment is interrupted by two people using big words and "hard to grasp" concepts, and a debate breaks out about the economy of a country no ones heard about. Random, obscure facts are dropped in to show off one's Big Brain. This can be pure torture. Two body builders may as well be arm wrestling. I honestly consider them roughly the same thing. 

Anyway, the ego is probably THE cause of the world's problems and we would be doing well to atleast know what it is and how to manage it.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Imaginings of a Crazed Fool #1

Imagine that I somehow incorporated daily travels into the jungles of the world in my daily life. With the spirit and idea of Indiana Jones minus the life threatening scenarios. Slightly more peaceful.

Imagine that I never drained of energy. I always knew how to keep my reserves full, and just burnt on and on and on. 

Imagine that there was a lot more sun and more water parks. A water park in every town and city. 

Imagine there were more universities that listed courses such as: Formula 1 driver, a degree in "World Traveling", a "How to Kick The Ego's Ass" course, a degree in "How to Have Fun", a diploma in "Jungle Adventures". And less universities that offered courses in utter boring crap. 

Imagine there were more music festivals that played music that felt good to the soul, which promoted the idea of health and aliveness, had a back to nature, connected with the earth vibe. Less drugs and mind shattering bass, just something more genuine and authentic. No pretentious crap. Real honest to God, good time stuff. This is just a video game, but dancers + this vibe + music festival would be awesome.


Imagine there was a really popular guide book with simple language that could educate more people about the Ego, and How to Get Past It

Imagine there was less grey, and more colour in the world. Imagine we didn't go around our daily business miserable, hating the sight of the people we see everyday. Imagine that our lives were full of honest to God good times with everyone, or most people anyway. 

pfffffffffffff that's all for now

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."

Well, after Plugging into Popular Culture, and Letting My Monkey Mind Float Away, I got a little down in the dumps. Turns out that popular culture hasn't got a lot of good vibes going for it. I watched a lot of sports and random YouTube clips, and while this did give me a break from my own neurosis and obsessive thoughts, the vibration of the content either kept me at the same lowish state that I was before, or helped drag me down further. It's actually very rare that something on TV can take you higher in terms of inspiration. There are a few movies like "Cool Hand Luke" or maybe "Me, Myself and Irene" that can help to lift my spirits, but most of it, honestly, seems to be junk food for the soul.

Thoughts are just like food. There is a lot of fast-food advertising thrown at us daily, and you have to really go and search for good quality organic fruits and veg that will put life back into you. For me, popular culture is just the same. I really have to search hard for good vibrational content. When I read back over my last post about Plugging Into Popular Culture, I couldn't help but sense the sarcasm of which I was mostly unaware of when writing it. Meditating on the moment definitely serves a purpose (quieting the mind), but it doesn't take the soul's feeling anywhere unless the subject has a feel good vibe to it.

I'm pretty damn sure that I have ADD. To me, a lot of ADD types seem to be quite sensitive people. Defo the case for me. Most of my immediate reality filled me with a horrendous feeling when I was young. Less so now, but it's still there. The ADD person really HAS to tune out of their surroundings and daydream, or else their soul gets tugged and swayed too much. There's nothing wrong with being ADD. Infact it's a gift of "feeling" too much. So we just gotto tune out sometimes. It's often said that you will do better in this world if you are "thick skinned". It's true in a way. But it come at the expense of being numb to the feeling of your soul. They're just two sides of the same coin really.

Anyway, the only thing that pulls me out of a pit of despair like this Imagining. The Ego is like wearing a pair of tinted spectacles. A lot of people generally have angry, anxious or fearful obsessive thoughts. So you start seeing the scary side of life in everything. What I do is make sure that I have obsessive thoughts about the best feeling things I can think of. The world just seems to change colour. This is when the inspiration kicks in. I just gotto remember sometimes, to get back to Imagining to keep the inspiration tank full.

An example of an imagination session goes something like this: Imagine that I had no fear in me. Imagine that the feeling of pain in my heart bleeding out gradually stopped, and a joyous feeling took over. Imagine that a momentum took over, and I got a rumbling sort of sensation in my chest that felt like courage and inspiration taking off. A drum beat thundering and crashing that would drive me on regardless of the pain in the world. Imagine that Jesus was standing beside me, whispering encouragement into my ear. Imagine Jesus was standing by everyone in the world and we all felt good. Imagine that this "reality" was the illusion, and that my illusions of heaven were reality. Imagine that I could wake up easily from this little story that I happen to be caught up in, and realize that it was just an experience of not being One.

Ok, ok, ok Jimbob, enough with the crazy jibber jabber. But honest to God, whether there is a heaven, or whether this immediate reality is all there is, this imagination thing makes me feel better, and takes me out of misery. So just try it if you're the kind that has a knack for tripping over and accidently falling into pits of despair. Some may call you crazy, and say that you are living in a fantasy land. Fine, but at least it makes you feel good.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Plug into Popular Culture, Let Your Monkey Mind Float Away




If you are irritable, confused, all over the place, frustrated, thinking too much; use this simple technique to achieve peace and calm. Meditate. I like to give this a twist though. Plug into popular culture and meditate.

A lot of people do this naturally, but if you are somebody who spends too much time by yourself and feel "disconnected" from society, a good way to "plug" yourself back into society is by "plugging" into popular culture. I like to think of it as receiving a "pipeline of understanding".

Many people have selective attention. They only pay attention to what they give value to. Some are sports fans, and can't watch anything but sport. A cooking program comes on and they can't change the channel fast enough. But I have found that I can find value in ANYTHING I choose to give my undivided attention to. The very act of just dropping all your opinions and judgments and just observing is liberating. It hardly matters what the subject is.

It's a way to free your mind. Pay undivided attention to a movie. Pay undivided attention to a football match. A cooking program. A teleshopping channel. The ads between sitcoms. You will start to realize how much you actually zone out of. You start picking up the small details. The key is to stretch out your attention span. If stressful thoughts creep back into your head, get back to observation. If you start daydreaming, bring your attention back. It's the same as meditation really. Just a little "busier". Instead of focusing on your breathe for example, you are just choosing to focus on something else: popular culture.

It's all about having control over your mind, and not letting your monkey mind have control over you. Free all judgement. Free yourself from obsession and selective attention. Plug into popular culture in a way which is healthy, observe it and just accept as it is, whatever it is. You will be amazed at how interesting anything you put your attention to can be. 



Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Idea of Adventure




A lot of us get stuck inside of "habit boxes". We form patterns of behavior over years which can lock us into habitual "prisons". From the age of around 5 or 6, we get sandwiched into the gears of society. And it's no ones fault. It's all our fault. We all create the world we live in. There's no single evil genius laughing in the background at us.

We wake up, we have our breakfast, we go to school, we get told what to do, we come home, our parents tell us what to do, we do our homework, we play a little, we eat dinner and we sleep. And repeat. And repeat. For generally 12 years of education. If we choose to go to college or university, add another 2 - 4 years with a little more freedom thrown in. It's like a release valve and most young adults just go bananas when they get to college with parties and booze etc.

The thing is though that you're still looking at another 50 or 60 years of hard, grafting work after this with the same habitual patterns. Wake early, eat, work for 8-10 hours in a job you really don't believe in, come home, tell your kids to do their homework, eat dinner, watch a bit of TV and go to bed late. Most don't even get a good night's rest and repeat, and repeat and repeat. This is exactly why the idea of adventure is so exciting to most people.

The way to become more adventurous is to make this idea a core belief of yours. You've got to WANT to be adventurous. Once it becomes an ingrained belief it's like you start looking at life from another angle. Or with different tinted specs on. You start SEEING the opportunities for adventure. You think of your job. You go to the same place 5 days a week, every week, every month, year after year. Ya, not adventurous at all. You start looking for a more adventurous job. You google it. You research it. Pick one that vibrates and resonates with your essential being. Start a travel blog, create an online business, travel Australia going from coast to coast doing restaurant work, do anything that creates more adventure.

The key though really is having the time to be adventurous. A fair chunk of our time is spent working to support our lifestyles. Another problem is buying into consumerism. That car will make me happy. Those designer shoes will make me happy. As Tyler Durden says in Fight Club "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need". Having the newest, the best and the most expensive is all one big ego trip. The ego can never feel happiness. It only knows satisfaction, which is short lived, until somebody else has something newer and more expensive than you.

You've got to choose between material possessions and actual living. It's really a choice between the ego and the soul. Do you want to live a life of small satisfactions or do you want to feel happy? Adventure is just one side of life that can make you happy. Another way to look at it is that you can also take the internal adventure. Take the internal adventure from depression to happiness. The adventure from the ego mindset to the happy soul experience. You could live in one place your whole life and still go through amazing internal transformations. No matter which adventure you choose, you're still choosing the IDEA of adventure, and it will create happiness within.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Are Yams and Sweet Potatoes the Answer to Life's Problems?




Lets consider a country that is in bad shape. It has poor roads and infrastructure, bad leadership, a low level of technology and manufacturing, expensive fuel resources etc It is fatigued and run down. It hasn't got the energy to pick itself up and improve it's economy. What it needs is direction and the energy required to get where it needs to go.

Now lets look at a thriving economy. It 's got great leadership, sophisticated technology and manufacturing methods, a large supply of cheap energy etc. It's got the direction and energy needed to get where it needs to go, and the economy is flourishing. Now use these analogies and apply them to your life.

Leadership and direction would be your own mindset. Who is at the controls? How is your mental state? Have you got good character? The "technology" would be comparable to your physical make-up. How is your state of health? Are you physically and mentally fit?

Now what about energy? You may have a fantastic character and state of mind, a good level of health, but are you supplying yourself with the energy required to power this body and mind of yours along? For many years I relied on motivation and inspiration from heroes of mine, to pick myself up when I felt I had nothing left to give. My soul was well nourished, but I failed to take care of physical health. A great place to be at in life is to realize that the soul and physical reality both need to be respected. The body needs an abundance of energy. Now all it takes is to look for the best source of energy for the human body.

While I'm no expert at all in this area, after a bit of research I found that sources of fuel for the human body come from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There is a lot of debate about whether carbs or fats are better sources of energy. Proteins supply far less energy but are important in other ways. So choose carbs or fats based on your own inclinations. I've opted for a high carbohydrate diet. It seems more natural to me. Maybe one day I will try a high fat-low carb diet. The point is to do your research. Listen to the guys who know what they are talking about. Don't try and reinvent the wheel. Listen to their advice.

Get the best fuel possible for your body. Once I decided on carbs as my main fuel, I started researching the best carbohydrate sources available. The healthiest carbs which I came across, and the ones which I have settled on are yams, sweet potatoes, brown rice, organic oats and regular organic potatoes. I generally try and go organic with everything. Make sure that your diet is well rounded with plenty of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.

Respect your body. Supply it with an abundance of energy. Power on through life. Keep burning on. Find your best source of fuel and make sure that you keep the tank full!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Let's Imagine a Better World For Ourselves

First, let's have a look at some of the game changers in recent history. The telephone, the internal combustion engine, the airplane, the television, the internet. They all have basic ideas at the heart of them. Easier communication and faster travel. Simplification of universal experiences that we all share. Not matter who you are on earth, you will travel and you will communicate. What other universal experiences do we all share? The eating experience. Ideas that have revolutionized this? Fast food take-away, supermarkets, online food delivery services, modern agricultural methods etc. The experience of laughter? Stand-up comedy, the idea of a "comedian", half hour sitcoms etc. The activity that has the highest impact in terms of what inventions, ideas and technologies we see today? It must be Imagination. What never existed before has to be imagined.

Most of us, unfortunately, rely on the copy cat method. We imitate what has gone before us. This builds traditions and culture. We do what those before us did. Traditions are like guide books. If you follow the instructions, you will be relatively safe. This can stifle creativity though, and anyone who is seen to be "breaking off from the herd" is spoken of as "weird", "aloof", "a dreamer", or "away with the birds". Traditional types generally have great focus and concentration. They tune into their surroundings extremely well. But they tend to be rigid and stay well within the cultural norms. Dreamers, however, find it very difficult to tune into their surroundings. Attention deficit disorder is a great description of these types. They are always daydreaming and find it difficult to tune into the immediate reality. But it's the dreamers who normally have the greatest impact on the world. Just look at Steve Jobs, John Lennon, Albert Einstein etc

So what's my point? My point is that the people who have the greatest impact on the world all had an extreme gift for vivid imagination. Were any of these guys copy cats? Nope. They cut straight through the traditional, cultural landscape of repetition.

The greatest ambition I have in life is creating a good feeling within myself, and in others if possible. It's a universal experience which we all share briefly sometimes, just like communication and travel etc. Just like those inventors who dreamed up vehicles to make travel easier, I'd love it if more people in the world used their imaginations to dream up ideas, inventions and technologies which increased the good feelings within themselves and others.

The idea for this blog was that it would be a sort of guide book for "how to increase the good feeling within". Practical and technique and method based. I'm taking that journey anyway. This blog was my imagination. I've come across health blogs etc but I've never come across a blog that told me how to get from depression to happiness effectively. And I know depression well. I felt the very bottom. A sort of dead man walking feeling. But I've always had to make my own methods up or use ideas from people I look up to. So I want to get very focused with this blog. It's a blog about: how to get from a "bad feeling place" to a "good feeling place".

My point is that, maybe we could all start imagining a little more. Let's all imagine a world in which we all feel happy, and let's see if we could make it happen. Right now, our imaginations seem to be focused on fear, greed, hate and violence. Just look at the movie industry. It's a great representation of our current collective mental state. Our reference points are made up of these images. And some of us, being the copy cats that we are, act out these images and ideas. It forms our personalities and character.  We're all glued to the news feed. We hear stories about rape, murder etc. All that has done is put more bad reference images into the minds of millions of  people across the world. Their life's "tunnel of experience" is being filled with these images.It's only increasing the likelihood of a copy cat acting out these ideas. We need good feeling reference points for ourselves. And we need to imagine good feeling thoughts. Change the momentum to good feeling thoughts and ideas. Imagine the world you'd like to live in; then try and make it happen. Let's feel good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Many Uses Of Coconut Oil




Coconut oil is fantastic stuff. Just as long as it's produced well. Always research the brands that you use to make sure that you're getting the highest quality available. No weird chemicals of any sort should be used during the process of extracting the oil. There is so much scandal involved with food that you got to do your research these days. I once read a crazy story about a cheese manufacturer who grated used umbrella handles into his Parmesan Cheese to fill it out. Yeh, anything to make a buck and now we're eating umbrella handles. Thanx guy.

Anyway, I use coconut oil for many things. It's anti-fungal and antibacterial so it kills all the bad guys pretty well. There's a war going on between the many different types of bacteria in your body, so supply the good guys with the best supplies they can get. Eat 2 - 3 table spoons of coconut oil a day and you should be good to go. Some eat 3 times that amount with no ill effects. The fat in coconut oil is very healthy and it converts into energy very efficiently. You won't gain a ton of weight or break out in spots. You'll have more reserves of energy to draw from as you go about your busy day. Especially in these times, we need all the energy we can get.

Another great use for coconut oil is for use externally. Many people suffer from minute bugs which crawl around on their skin called Demodex. We itch and we scratch but fail to realize that there is a tiny ecosystem on the surface of our skin. You don't look after it? The bad guys turn up and make life hell for you. Lather yourself all up in coconut oil from head to toe. This stuff seeps deep into the crevices surrounding the hair follicles where these guys hang out, and guess what? It makes life hell for THEM! Yes, we're winning the war now! Anyway, literally cover yourself in coconut oil and hour or two before you shower, and then wash it off. Otherwise you could just lather a very thin layer over yourself and go about your day.

What I'm trying right now is using coconut oil to attack my sinus problems. Normally I ingest a large amount (maybe 5-10g) of powdered vitamin C in water throughout the day and my sinus problems become non existent. High dose Vitamin C is a beautiful thing. But now that I've run out temporarily, I decided to experiment with coconut oil. I lay on my bed, tilt my head back and drip coconut oil from a teaspoon into each nostril, sniffing every now and then. I lay back for half an hour, shaking my head to get the oil to fill the far reaching corners of my sinuses. The idea is that it will attack any sort of bad bacteria or fungus that resides in my sinuses. There could, however, be a far deeper, underlying cause to my sinus problems, but I will report back on how this turns out.

Coconut oil has many, many different uses and it would be impossible to cover them all in one post. My advice is to research the heck out of anything you take. The more natural, the better. Use trusted brands. Your local health food shop will definitely have some in stock. There's a big shift and trend at the moment towards more natural foods and products and coconut oil is one of the star performers. Make it a daily habit to use more coconut oil, and get your health back in top shape!


Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Get Direction in Your Life

“You must not only aim right, but draw the bow with all your might.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Sometimes we get stuck in two minds about where we wanna go with our lives. I have great difficulty with this. I seem to be inspired by "the next big thing" every other day. And I'll get obsessed about a new topic for days or weeks on end before finally going "eh...it's not for me". The key for me is that it really has to feel like the perfect fit before I "go all in". 

And taking the time to find this right fit is perfectly fine. Generally, it's taken me a lot longer than most other people to get going with life. But only because I can't put all of my energy into something which doesn't feel right. It's hard to live with that empty feeling when faking your way through something. 

When I was studying to be an engineer, the whole process didn't feel right. School counselors, family etc were saying things like "This is perfect for you, your future will be very bright once you have your degree, don't be faffing about in two minds, just knuckle down and get going". When I left college with my fancy new degree, the economy went down the toilet with the financial crises, so, so much for listening to those older and wiser than you. But if the crises never happened, and I had "gotten on the tracks" with engineering and been stuck on that path, I know that I wouldn't have been happy . From day one, the whole thing gave me a bad feeling, which I failed to recognise at the time. 

The point is that I learned to think for myself. Think about where YOU want to go in YOUR life. Not where somebody else thinks you should go. Try many different things. Say to yourself "What would I like to spend my days doing for the rest of my life?" My method is that if it doesn't feel right, I let it go and look for something else. When that something else comes along that is a perfect fit, it will take off by itself. You will get boundless energy and enthusiasm for it. 


If I start feeling slightly off, and a bit weird, when I get an lonely sort of feeling, I let the idea go and clear my mind. Basically your feeling about things is your internal guidance system. You've heard of successful people in business etc who "follow their gut feeling" and it serves them well. When I pick up a new interest, I follow it for a while. If it feels good, I stick with it. If it feels wrong, I drop it. Same with habits, hobbies, people etc all the way down to each and every thought you create. If a thought that I'm obsessing on feels bad, I drop it. I would rather be obsessed with a thought that feels good. 


With regards to the quote above, if you "draw the bow with all your might" but you aim in the wrong direction, you can end up with an obsession for years which might only give you pain and grief. I did this for many, many years with music. I thought "Music is my thing. It is the thing that I know best. I would rather be a starving musician who enjoys his passion everyday than be a money hungry professional who hates his job. When I make it in music, THEN I'll be happy." So I ran hard in that direction. I was never more miserable. The starving musician idea was a step up from the career driven professional idea but it still wasn't IT (for me). 


The point is that you've got to keep trying new things, keep getting up from failures, and eventually you will find a good fit. The best fit to me is when both my soul and ego are satisfied. The starving artist idea appealed to me because my soul felt better but my ego was not in good shape (havin no money ever will do this). It still wasn't IT. The guy with a couple houses, yachts and loads of money will have his ego well satisfied but his soul might be in terrible shape. They always talk about that empty feeling.  There is a middle way to find between the soul and the ego. Try to respect both. Keep searching until you find that groove. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Method: Connecting To Your Soul With Imagination

One of the best ways to connect to your soul and create a good feeling within yourself is by using your imagination. The number of great minds that had deep convictions about imagination speaks for itself

“Everything you can imagine is real.” 
 Pablo Picasso

Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. 
–Napoleon Hill

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”
 Albert Einstein

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” 
 Mark Twain

So if imagination is so important, why not just try it? Get away from the computer, the TV and all other distractions. Sit in your favourite armchair or lay on the bed. And Imagine. Go for the images and thoughts that create the best feeling within you. These are an example

Imagine that I felt good everyday of my life. Imagine that I never had to face another illness or disease. Imagine that every morning I woke up with an endless amount of energy and loved every minute of the day, until I lay on my bed at night and had the most relaxing, deep sleep ever. Imagine that I never distracted myself with mindless things that sucked the life and energy from me. Imagine that I had a great purpose in life, and that purpose was to create as much happiness and good feeling within myself as I possibly could. Imagine that I was connected to God and could feel the great spirit within me every second of the day. Imagine that I had this good soul feeling always, and that who ever I might come in contact with everyday would receive that good feeling as well. Imagine that most people in the world were connected with their good feeling or God. Imagine that alcohol never existed, and could never put anger, aggression, confusion and dullness into so many people. Imagine that smoking companies felt the pang of regret and took their products that kill so many of their customers out of production. Imagine that we never drugged our children with sweets, candy and soda with their first steps into the world. Imagine that there were supermarkets, not filled with dead, lifeless, processed foods, but with fresh food grown from the earth that was full of life and energy, so that when we ate these fruits and vegetables, we would be full of the life an energy too. Imagine that the main goal of corporations and governments was not to exploit the people for their own gain, but to create as much happiness in the world as possible. Imagine that corporations actually acted the way they pretend they do in their adverts. Imagine that we all just returned to the good feeling within ourselves, and away from the Ego's small satisfactions. Imagine that the Ego never existed. Their would be no more competition to be the most, be the best, be the most beautiful, have the most, control the most, to be the top of every list it can think of. Imagine that our Ego minds just floated away and our greatest drive was to grow the good feeling within ourselves, and know that that feeling was God. Imagine that we never got the idea of God so horribly wrong. Imagine that people woke up to the fact that most organised religions don't promote the growing of the good feeling within ourselves, but separation from that good feeling through fear and guilt. Imagine that every one in the world learnt how to use their imagination again. The imagination they they had lost since childhood. Imagine that schools never sucked the life and soul and imagination out of our children. Imagine that every schools greatest goal was to increase the happiness and good feeling within every child, so that creative imagination would soar even higher. Imagine that we all had that good feeling, the spirit of life, and creative imagination within us every day.

What happens when you imagine like this is that the more and more you believe this can happen, the greater the chance it has of actually happening. The Buddha once said

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
Buddha

When you think of war, you bring about war. When you think of violence, you bring about violence. It's driven so hard into us by media that we start to regurgitate the fearful images. It's in all of our minds so we create that world. But when you think of a beautiful world, you will bring about that beautiful world. When you think about your own good feeling, you will bring about that good feeling. Just choose what to think of. Go for the best feeling thoughts that you can think of. You will feel it almost immediately. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breaking Obsession

Somewhere along the path that our lives take, most of us pick a direction in life, whether you are conscious about it or not. I bet that you know a guy who is fixated on a certain sports team. I bet that you know a girl who is obsessed about her looks. We've all come across people who are obsessed with money. We see alcoholics stumbling down the sidewalk towards us, and we give them as much space as possible. Most of these people have an obsession, and it is an extremely difficult thing to break away from.

This all ties in with neurosis. Neurosis to me is the accumulation of obsessive thoughts that disengage a person from reality. We all have neurosis to a certain degree. Even the most enlightened beings on earth have a small degree of neurosis. There's a scale that runs from one extreme end to the other. On one side you have extreme neurosis, madness, schizophrenia etc. A complete disengagement from reality. The mind/ego is in full control and it might be a living hell for the person. On the other end, you have complete engagement with reality. The senses are in full receptive mode. You see everything, all at once. You feel every sensation in your body, all at once. You hear every little sound, all at once. Whichever sensory organ you choose. It can be fun to switch between the senses. 

What you're left with when you are fully engaged with the living moment is the feeling of your spirit. The mind is completely quiet. You are your true self. The trick with an obsession is to drag the pointer of your internal compass with all your might, and have it point in a direction which will give you relief and a degree of peacefulness within yourself.

The other trick is realizing that following the good feeling within your heart and soul is the only thing that really "feels" real. It's all about the feeling. Disengage from your mind, and "feel" your soul. The mind is obsessed with being at the top of the list. Being the smartest. Acquiring the most knowledge. Being the funniest. It wants the beautiful trophy wife, even though she might be hell to live with and you feel rotten inside, your mind feeds off of the satisfaction that she looks great and you think all your friends think so too. This is the empty feeling that people with a lot of "success" talk about. The brain might be "winning" at life but the soul is in terrible shape.

The only healthy amount of neurosis that I would recommend is using your mind to chase the good feeling within your soul. Look at your brain as a handy tool that can create as much happiness for you as possible. If you don't have that good feeling within your soul, everything you chase (money, success, beauty) will be an empty illusion, and you will put on a brave face to everyone around you, but you will know that empty feeling.

So to break out of an obsession, fully engage reality with your senses for hours, days, months on end. Your obsessive thoughts will float away. Walking to work? Listen to the traffic and sounds all around, feel the cool air, the warm sun, look at the shadows and light, the reflections, feel the sensation of your body as it walks. This can be done anywhere. Meditate on life happening around you. And start using your mind not to chase false illusions of success, but of a real good feeling within yourself. When the world is collapsing around you, with destruction and chaos, and you can still have that good feeling within you're soul, then you know you are truly happy.