Sacrifice

the-jog

It’s important to make someone happy, and it’s important to start with yourself

-anonymous

Stop sacrificing yourself to not rock the boat. Your happiness and well-being is too important. I have actually known people who have stayed in relationships with people because they did not want to make that other person feel bad, or because it was presently convenient. People have sacrificed their health for their job, because they felt they had to have that extra money for things their family did not need. It is when you are happy, when you are at peace, when you make the best decisions. Genius will come to you, without effort, when your nervous system is working smooth, and with health. Staying with someone for the kids is a big no no, when your happiness is at stake. The time for change will never be perfect, so you just have to do it, now. Go for that walk, get that exercise, cook yourself a healthy meal and get some alone time. You have sacrificed enough for others, it is time to sacrifice for yourself. When you are happy, you make others happy, so in reality, it is the least selfish thing you can do.

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Dark side

moons

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” 

Mark Twain

My dark side has been with me for so long, laying in the trenches of my mind. The darkness was with me during my childhood, and became stronger as I aged. I was 12, and I remember waking up Christmas morning, the skies where grey and cold. And I had a feeling of emptiness inside me, mixed with fear. This feeling had been growing inside of me, peace becoming less, and the anxiety growing more. Even at that age, I knew these feelings were not normal or good, I remember regretting being so young, because I did not want to live so long with such tremendous negativity. It wouldn’t be until years later, that I would start finding coping mechanisms that would be able to penetrate the thick hide of my dark side. How I even managed to become a paramedic, or firefighter during those times, is a mystery. I had to take myself out of the emergency profession eventually, because when the darkness did rear it’s ugly head, my focus and concentration would melt away like a snowman in the summer sun.

Presently, my dark side still resides within me. I have come to the conclusion that it will never go away, it is buried deep within my genetics. I have decided though that it is not going to run my life, and that I can function with it. I have also found incredible ways of sweeping it out of my mind. I wish I could go back in time, and teach my younger self what I have learned. I guess that is the most important thing someone in pain can do, is to find others who suffer, and teach them how to get through it. One of the great turning points of my life, is that I learned how to accept the darkness, and even learn from it. Another turning point, is that I learned communication, I would ferociously read books on how to connect with others, so I could find out if what I had existed in other people, and to build support groups. Because no one should live with such a condition, alone.

I learned that my family tree is ripe with people who suffer depression, so obviously there was a genetic component. I also learned it struck the males in the family. So I reached out, and found that the people  I grew up, had the same beast within. Even my own father. It was an eye opener.

I asked my dad why he had children, knowing that he was depressed himself. I could see that the question hurt him, so I instead gave him a hug and told him I was happy he had me. Because of course, my dark side has a light. And I have to remember that when I am feeling down.

I know I am not alone in this, that is why I have designed this website. I think it is much more common then people let on. It is time to speak out, just getting your story out there is going to help yourself and countless others. I think people give up hope when they feel  alone. That was the most frustrating part of the depression for me, for years, I thought I was the only one that felt such terrible emotion. That, of course, was very far from the truth.

I want to learn from you, tell me your story….

Join me on Twitter or YouTube, have a wonderful day

Life

glacier

 

Life has a way of chipping away at me, the older I get. I once felt resilient and powerful, but not so much anymore. I remember the times I could go out with my friends, stay up till about three or four in the morning, and still go to work just fine. I couldn’t do that anymore, it would literally crush my body and mind. I have to stick to a basic routine, one that does not interfere with my sleep.

It is amazing, and tragic how the mind holds onto things, and tries to protect us. Over a decade ago, I was a working paramedic. We had 24 hour shifts, and the job was not good for someone like me. Some people thrive on the unpredictability, and the excitement, me, meh, not so much. I used to think unpredictable excitement was the way to go, back when I was young and dumb, believing I could save the world. But now, I know better. It wasn’t until recently though, through years of observing myself and others, that I have found out how much we carry things around. Working as a paramedic for all those years, did a number on my psyche. To this day, it is almost impossible for me to have a solid nights sleep, and I cannot sleep in a bed that is not my own. My ears will also tune into the sounds of a siren, and wake me up instantly, with my heart pounding.

Now, is this PTSD? Of course not, but it is something my brain carried along, and I do not know how to let it go. Is it destroying my life? Not necessarily, but it is a chip in me, and all those chips add up.

Every experience we have, never completely leaves us. Any relationship you invest yourself with, or job you worked, is going to leave an impression. Perhaps after that person you are a little less trusting now, or you don’t have as much confidence. It is not like we choose to carry these things along, but our minds are trying to protect us, even though it is hurting us.

I call this unconscious mind protection, or unconscious coping mechanisms, because we may not know they exist, because they work undetected. For example, smoking is an unconscious behavior, consciously you want to stop, but somewhere along the line the unconscious associated it with helping. And because the unconscious has such tremendous influence on us, we can’t just stop the coping mechanism through will power alone. That is why I just cannot tell myself to sleep through the night, it is because there is another mechanism at play.
Some unconscious coping mechanisms will kill us. I have a friend who resorts to childish anger when confronted with uncomfortable situations. I don’t believe he even realizes how is acting when these episodes happen. The consequences of this coping mechanism on his life have been devastating. It results in him having no real friends, and zero intimate relationships. If someone tries to bring his coping mechanism to the surface, so that he may see it and try to face it, the coping mechanism kicks in, making that person seem like an enemy. Deep down he understands that there is a problem, but until he brings it to the surface, loneliness is going to be his only companion.

So why would the brain do such a thing? Create a coping mechanism that will cause us such grief in life? I can compare that question to something like multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis, in the simplest sense, is where our own immune system attacks the protective covering of our nerves (myelin sheath). In trying to protect us, our immune system is killing us. Eventually, because the disease affects our nervous system, we could end up losing our ability to walk, and other functions. It is the same with these unconscious coping mechanisms, in our minds attempt to protect us, it is killing us.

So what is the cure? The cure is to humble ourselves and realize we are carrying a destructive way of handling life. Once we have come to terms with that, we get professional advice.

I have many destructive coping mechanisms inside me, and the one thing that has helped me tremendously in ridding myself of them through subconscious communication. Or in laymen terms, self-hypnosis. I have added some links at the bottom of this post, if you want to find out exactly what it is and how it can help. There are many other things that can un-weed these coping mechanisms and replace them with good ones. It just depends on which ones work best with you.

I will write in more detail about how to combat these coping mechanisms in the future, but until then, I want to hear from you, so I can learn!

Have a wonderful day.

Press here for an example of subconscious reprogramming from my YouTube page.

Press here to find out what self-hypnosis can do for you.

Press here to find out about other therapies that may help.

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Chatter

 

greed

 

“Sometimes what you want isn’t always what you get, but in the end what you get is so much better than what you wanted.” -Anonymous

I am always wanting things. Sometimes I feel ashamed by how much I want, like a greedy little mouse staring at the cheese store all day. I want this website to grow, I want a PhD, respect, a nice little house with a shiny black grand piano. Sometimes I want so much, I forget why I want all that stuff in the first place. Why can’t I just respect myself for who I am right now? And to be completely honest with you, that is just a small sampling of what my mind tells me, with vigor, every second of the day. As my list grows longer, my life and patience grow shorter. And I have a sneaky feeling that even if I did get everything I wanted, I’d still probably feel exactly the same. Discontent.

Always being in a state of want, makes me feel uncomfortable inside. It feels like a small agitation, that just won’t go away. I have to remember to be content, and comfortable with what I have in the moment, but let’s face it, that is not how society conditioned us. To go against conditioning, takes discipline indeed, and the ironic thing is, to go against society is another want in itself!

That is why, for someone like me, who has a mind that wasn’t built with an off switch, the time right before bed is my favorite. I am talking about those rare times when you know the next minute you are going to be asleep, deep in dreams, far away from the endless conscious chatter. Thank god for sleep. For me, it is like a mini portal, a small break from the insanity.
Even if my dreams are weird, and make no sense, most of the time it is still far away from the endless mind chatter monotony that seems to plague us all.

The only problem with sleep, is that I have to wake up again. Don’t get me wrong, I am learning how to enjoy life. And I hope, dear reader, you are learning how to enjoy life as well. If you do really enjoy life, please respond to this article so I can learn how you did it.

There is one thing that has worked for me though, that has turned the tides. One thing that is more powerful then anything else I have ever done. And the funny thing is, it is ridiculously simple. I would just sit up in a chair, stare at something in the distance, and pay attention to my breathing. Of course thoughts would enter my mind, but I learned not to fight them, I would let them go by like clouds floating in the sky. It wasn’t like I felt extreme peace while I did that practice either, when I first started I felt foolish and that it was a waste of time. But, after awhile, I did start noticing a difference in my mind chatter. my inner conflict would actually stop once in awhile, without much effort, and just those moments of peace make it all worth it. And the more you do it, the more you will notice the difference.

I guess some would call it meditation. I never liked that word meditation, always brought up images of a guy, scantly dressed, perched on top of a mountain. Where it takes years and years and years of hard core discipline that only few achieve. So I came up with a different name for this practice, “chatter stop.” And if you come up with your own name, it makes the process much easier.

So I included a video, that explains how to do this “chatter stop” activity very simply. Just press on THIS WORD to visit it.

Please respond, I want to learn from you. Visit me on Twitter, and have a great day.

Little Box

genius

“Creativity takes courage. ”

Henri Matisse

Have you ever played the trumpet before? You should go pick one up, and start playing it. Just the act of doing something new, something completely different, will change the way you think. It will create different neural patterns in your mind. With new neural patterns comes a healthier mind, and a healthier mind decreases the chances of you getting dementia.

You say your seventy years old, and you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, then forget about the trumpet, and start learning Japanese, or better yet, do both. Not only should you learn new tricks, at any age, but it is important for your mind, body and soul that you do. Your brain is just like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Scientist have recently discovered that neurons can regenerate, that means you can become smarter at any age.

What’s that? You don’t have time to learn the trumpet or Japanese? It’s not relevant to your life. Now, not only should you learn the trumpet and Japanese, but you should also take some karate lessons. The fact you say you have no time, that it is not relevant, is a symptom of a “lazy” mind. The mind naturally does not want work out, just like most people would rather drive then ride a bicycle. It is imperative that you work that mind. A good working mind, has a better capacity of making better choices, and understanding empathy. A good mind is just more fun!

So, get your keister out that door, and learn something new. Anything, start small and build up. In fact, you can start so small, you can watch another television show, or just try a new cereal. Let’s get out of the box.

Tell me what you think! Please respond

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happiness

swings

When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.”
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.
– John Lennon (Singer, songwriter, 1940-1980)

I can remember the happiest time of my life…

I was seven, and I just heard the bells ring for recess. The air outside was warm, and full of electricity, probably because of the coming storm. The wind filled up my lungs as as I ran as fast as I could to the swings. In my mind they were not swings at all, but a spaceship of my creation.

I ran belly first onto the swing, launching myself into the air, my arms spread out in front of me like superman. I saw flashes of lightning, probably a thousand miles away, in the distant clouds. It just added to the excitement. I could smell popcorn in the distance, the school carnival was tonight. I would swing for the full fifteen minutes, pumping my legs, feeling the speed launch me into the air. When the bell rang, I jumped off the seat, feeling my body fall. I would land on the ground, and then roll because of the force of gravity. I liked the jolt I felt when I hit the earth, I pretended I was a G.I.-joe, and I just jumped from my helicopter in hot pursuit of Cobra.

We all sat down on the carpet inside the first grade room, which was the color of steel grey, and had all kinds of colorful stains on it from years of activities . It told the story of youth. The teacher read us the book, where the wild things are, and I was fascinated with the pictures of the giants, and how they danced with the little boy.

Life was simple back then, my parents and I went to the school festival later that night. The evening radiated with an orange light from the afterglow of the storm. I got my face painted as a tiger, and would roar at anyone who dared come my way. Back then, I didn’t even think about if I annoyed people, just never occurred to me. I wore my red oshkosh bibs, and my hair was a mess, just how I preferred it.

I won a gold-fish that night, and named it Tony after myself. They put the fish into a plastic bag, and later I had to put it into a lemonade pitcher, because I did not own a goldfish bowl (we’d get one the next day.) Later that night, I would lay in bed and stare at the glow of the sticker stars on my ceiling. Their glow was faint, melting into the darkness of the room, my eyes would then close.

If I ever lived in the moment, completely, it was then. I had no idea at that time, that one day the imagination I loved so much, would hurt me as an adult.

When I was a child, happiness was just there. It wasn’t something I had to work for, or read about how to achieve. It was just my natural state of mind. Today, it is a much different story, but that is for another post.

John Lennon was right, happiness is not something that is acquired over time, it is a state of mind. It is a choice. We can choose to be happy right here, right now.

I think later today I’m going to find some swings.

Please respond, I want to learn from you! Or join me on Twitter, or YouTube.  Click here for the music to this post.

Fear

fear

“The fears we don’t face become our limits” –Robin Sharma

 

This is a post written by a guest writer who chooses to be anonymous, please enjoy!

Have you ever been afraid of anything?

We all have experienced fear at some point in our life. With legitimate threats, fear plays an important role in protecting us from potentially dangerous situations.

Sometimes though, we create our own fears out of anxiety about a situation, from a bad experience we had, or even the unknown. This type of fear can become very limiting as it takes control of you, consumes your mind, makes you believe your fear is truth, and begins to influence your decisions.

Why is this anxiety driven fear so bad?

Because fear distorts reality. Fear makes things seem worse than they really are. You begin to doubt your ability to cope, so instead you avoid. It’s easier to run from fears than take them on, to purposely place yourself eye to eye with your perceived demons. In reality though, by avoiding your fears, you actually feed them.

Think about what fears have consumed you, and then sit back and imagine what you could do without that fear. What opportunities would become limitless? What could take it’s place?… Travel?? Job?? Love?? An exciting new adventure??

It’s only impossible if you believe it is. To move past your fears you have to make the decision to grow, to overcome, to change your life. You have to start focusing on dreams, possibilities, and opportunities, instead of doubts, uncertainties, and anxieties.

So the next time something comes up that makes you feel anxious or fearful, make the effort to drift out of your comfort zone. Take charge of your life. Ignite the dream instead of fueling the fear. You’ll be so glad you did!!!

 

Respond and join the discussion, or join me on YouTube or Twitter

Connection and chaos

space2

 

“[Horror fiction] shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”

― Clive Barker

Tonight I wanted to write about something deep. I think about the layers of life, about the energy that connects us, and the illusion that makes us believe we are separate. I think about the atoms that make up my body, and how they have existed since the beginning of time, and because of that, death is not real. I think about how we try to control situations, other people and ourselves, and how futile it is.

Sometimes, after a long day, sipping a glass of wine, I look outside feeling my soul. My mind is silent in those times, and I feel what I truly am, I am the evolving universe, and I am at peace.

 

Please comment back so I can learn from you.  Join me on Twitter or YouTube

Narcissism

narcissim

 

Narcissistic people are always struggling with the fact that the rest of the world doesn’t revolve around them.”   – Unknown

 

I have talked to numerous people, who have had toxic relationships with someone who was a narcissist. Narcissist are truly dangerous, because out of all the personality disorders, narcissist are by the far the best actors. They come off witty, intelligent, and very nice, but that is only because they are trying to rope you in. Let me explain, if it is a relationship they want, they are going to do, or say, anything that they need to make that happen. By the time you figure out who this person really is, and that you are in a toxic relationship, years of your life may have been invested.

Narcissism is a formula of different personality traits, one of which is having no empathy for other people except themselves. You are not really a person in the eyes of a narcissist, you are reduced to an object of gratification. There are many reasons a narcissist might use you, it could be to boost their ego, for sexual gratification, or other things. They will make you feel like they have empathy, but that is because they are putting on a show to get their fill. And the problem with the narcissist, is that they will never be satisfied, so eventually, they will leave you feeling empty, confused and maybe even insane.

It is a push pull relationship with a narcissist. Because they know what to say, and how to act, to wrench on your heartstrings, to draw you back in.

You are a smart person, you know when you have been taken advantage of, so, after a while you understand you have to leave this person. The problem is, the narcissist knows how to trump your logical mind by pursuing your heart. So instead of leaving the creature, you have another baby, or give them another loan or do something crazy and invest more in with this person, who is literally destroying your sanity. It is a spiraling downfall, one that is next to impossible to retreat from.

When you see someone in a relationship with a narcissist, you scratch you head, because everyone on the outside can see how toxic the association is. We wonder why the hell you put up with it. Of course, we are not the ones being manipulated like a marionette.

Some narcissist are so good at acting though, on the outside the relationship may looks like a dream come true, like he is a regular Romeo. But again, that is what causes some of the insanity, because they will make you question your own judgements, your own reality.

Healing from such a relationship takes time. And it isn’t until much later, after the relationship has terminated, that any such healing can start taking place. You first must understand that you have been emotionally manipulated for years, and you’re going to have to start building trust up in yourself again. That is because chances are you no longer trust yourself, or your instincts, because you feel you let this happen. You have to be gentle, nobody, unless they are a trained psychotherapist, really has the tools to combat a true narcissist. They are powerful people, many of them are running the country, and have positions of power. They are good at what they do, because they don’t even know they are doing it!

A true narcissist does not know they are a narcissist, because admitting so would be admitting they have weakness, and their egos are too fragile to admit fault. That is why, everything is to blame, but themselves. In fact many narcissist claim other people are narcissist (I already know what you’re thinking, so stop it!). Narcissist are insane, and is a true personality disorder, it is just as serious as someone who suffers schizophrenia or paranoid disorders. They rarely get help, because they feel they are already perfect. Deep down, they have no self-esteem. That is why they cannot blame themselves, it takes a strong person to admit fault, and to grow from mistakes. If you feel you are in the grip of a narcissist, ask yourself a couple questions….

  1. Does this person ever take responsibility for things? Especially when things go wrong? And this question can be tricky, because a narcissist will take responsibility for things, but they may only be doing it to get something from you. We are looking for intentions. If they are saying sorry for something, only to get something from you, then it really isn’t a sincere apology. Again, these people are fabulous actors.
  2. Do they quickly blame others for problems in their life?
  3. Do they exaggerate their self-worth, or what they do? Do they brag about how much money they make or how many friends they have? It may be difficult to spot the difference between bragging and confidence, but again, it all goes down to intentions. A confident person will talk less about self-importance, and more about self-worth.
  4. Do they quickly judge other people harshly without question? Narcissist lack empathy or understanding of other people and situations. For example in the mind of a narcissist, if someone is poor, they deserve it.
  5. Do they listen to you? Try to understand you? Or do they mostly (or always) talk about themselves and what makes them happy.
  6. Do they easily become jealous? The reason I ask this is because a narcissistic individual spends their life protecting the ego. If someone or something enters their life who is threatening their world, they will react to get rid of the risk, imaginary or real.

 

Those were just a sample of some of the questions you can ask yourself in trying to identify a narcissist.  I hope you enjoyed my post, please respond, I want to hear your point of view so I may learn from your experiences.

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Miles to go

dog2

A short poem by me, Tony

I see my face it’s growing old

My is hair is fading, so I’m told

My memory is not what it used to be
Who said that? I cannot see

Time marches, taking me away in pieces
I feel like my life is a series of short leases

I just want peace, in my mind
It is peace I wish to find

A little respect for what I’ve done
Have a little love, a little fun

Play my guitar under the October sky
I want to live, I don’t want to die

I want to feel safe, above the ground
With a lovers whisper, a gentle sound

The lick of a dog on my face
So wet and warm, in my favorite place

Through the woods, leaves colored in red
Remembering what Frost had said,
About miles to go before I sleep
Miles to go before I go back to the deep.

 

I’d love to hear your response, please write a post back = )

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