Sunday, October 28, 2012

How to Deal with Stress and Desire

Stress is the tension and pressure caused by expectations in life.
We stress because we worry about deadlines.
We stress because we fret about solutions.
We stress because we are unsure of the outcome of our words and actions.
We stress because we can not control every aspect in our life, and we stress because we doubt our authority  regarding the aspects we can control.

Stress is the product of expectation, worry, and doubt.
In order to deal with stress, we must understand why we are creating it.


When we project expectations onto a situation, we are taken out of the moment.
We worry and anticipate what is to come instead of focusing on what we can experience and interact with in the present moment.
We fail to see opportunities for action, inaction, and insight because we are too preoccupied with what we should be doing or what we situations we should be producing.

Imagine someone in possession of a lit fire on a cold winter night.
If they are too busy anticipating and building up defenses for possible situations where their fire may be blown out, then they never get to enjoy and benefit from that fire.
If they are too attached to the idea of keeping their fire aflame, then they will not be able to handle the reality that their firewood may eventually run out.

Both situations cause stress. 
The reality is the fire will go out at a certain point.
In order to fully enjoy that fire, one must find a balance between action and inaction.
One must cultivate enough resources to keep that fire going, but one can not spend all of their time cultivating that resource. One must also enjoy the fire.

That fire is akin to a situation. A situation can either progress or regress. 
There will always be a time for that fire to be extinguished- one can not fan the same flame for forever.
Once one stops expecting that fire to stay lit, then one can enjoy the fire.
But one can not expect the fire to stay lit without their action-
one must also take responsibility for the factors they have power over.

If one really wants that fire to stay lit because one enjoys that particular flame,
one will do everything in their power to make it happen.
Usually, if that desire is genuine, then one will find a sense of enjoyment and peace from actively fulfilling their responsibilities and exerting that power regarding that situation.
When one is lacking that genuine will and desire, one experience immense feelings of stress.

Do You Want It?

Do you want that particular fire? Or are you fanning that fire because you have placed expectations onto yourself?
Is this fire important to you? Do you need it, or do you just think you need it?
Do you want that fire to be bright because that brightness resonates with you? Or do you go after a certain brightness because you are comparing your fire to others'?

When we compare our situations to others, and when we go after certain situations because of others, we inevitable create stress. We are placing others' opinions and values before ours. 
How can you expect to feel fulfilled if you are simply borrowing others' priorities?

Once you find your own true priorities, you can work towards going after the realities you want to create. 

How Bad Do You Want It?

Sometimes when we go after what we want, we get so attached to a certain path and certain outcome that we create more stress even when dealing with what we are truly passionate about.

This stress is often caused by a narrow idea of what we truly want.
If a fisherman wants to make a catch, he will not choose a puddle over the sea.
Exercise open-mindedness. The vast amounts of possibilities will allow you to be flexible. The more flexible you are and the more easily you can adjust to situations, the less stressful you will feel.

You Are Not The Goal

Sometimes we attach our own personal worth to the extent which we can fulfill certain goals.
Know that you are not the goal, you are not the progress, nor are you the regression, the failure, nor the stagnation.
Remember that you choose to nurture a situation because you want to experience it, not define yourself through it.

Situations always end, but you will always have to deal with yourself. 
The less you allow the parameters of a situation to dictate your emotions and self esteem, the more space you create in order to be flexible and open minded.

Remember to be open minded and present in the moment.
Let yourself be happy, and let yourself reject and accept what truly resonates with you. Do not chase what you do not care to catch. Be honest with yourself, and try to fully enjoy what the fleeting moments offer you.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How to Decide for Yourself

Life is full of opportunities to make decisions-
these decisions vary in significance, in duration, and in intention.
Decisions are always a product of intention, regardless of whether they are made consciously or subconsciously. 

Decisions reflect purpose.
Why do we decide upon or against various prospects?
We choose certain goals/situations/actions in order to get what we want.
Decisions are very powerful in life- but the intentions behind them are even stronger.

Attitude and Intentions
A single decision affects the factors assigned to and controlled by that choice.
Intention and attitude affect all decisions.

When one holds a certain attitude and intention, they make choices that resonate with and reinforce that attitude and intention. Although attitude and intention are impermanent and can be instantly changed, most individuals hold onto and get stuck with a few select tendencies.

Until one becomes aware of their attitude and intentions, one will live life according to their unexamined beliefs. These unexamined beliefs will seem permanent and real- and one gives away their personal power to external sources and withstanding habits.

Regarding true personal power to make decisions, one of the most limiting beliefs that one can hold is 
"Someone else knows what's best for me better than I do"
"Someone else knows me better than myself."

The belief that someone/something outside of one's self knows possesses superior discernment regarding one's life works levels both subtle and obvious.

Obvious examples include believing your doctor/teacher/personal trainer/counselor/therapist/etc. know what is best for you better than you do. This is an easy belief to acquire- you pay these professionals to look after certain aspects of your life and improve them.

Subtle examples include believing your partner/parent/friend/media/etc. has a better understanding of what is  best for you better than you do. This belief is a product of an inferiority complex and an imbalanced desire to please others.

One may give that power to their partner or friend because they feel subtly inferior- they may see their partner or friend as more successful/smarter/more attractive/more worthy/better/etc than themselves. 
One may continue giving that power to their parents beyond childhood due to a lack of independence and a self-limiting approach to pleasing their parents and/or keeping the peace in the family.
One may give that power to the media because they desire the approval and applaud received by celebrities, and see those celebrities as superior to them (at least in some aspects.) 

The desire to please others and the desire to give personal responsibility away to external sources leads one to depend on others for self fulfillment. This dependence leads to illusory problems which lead to habits and intentions which control real decisions.
The desire is a problem.

In order to reclaim personal power, one must let go of their limiting beliefs. 
If one suffers from an inferiority problem, one must examine the cause of low self esteem and low self worth.
If one places the approval of others before their own wants and needs, one must learn to enforce and strengthen their personal boundaries.
If one makes decisions based on the reactions of others in order to gain that desired reaction, one must learn to look to themselves for validation and appreciation.

One must understand that only they possess ultimate discernment regarding their own choices that suit their own values, goals, wants, and needs.

One must take full responsibility for their choices and attitude and intentions. It is easy to give personal power to others because it is easy to blame others if all goes wrong. This dependence will always cause situations to go wrong.

One must understand their intentions- is the decision aimed to please others or aimed to resonate with one's self.

The power to decide for one's self with full confidence requires self evaluation and full presence in the moment. The residue of the past can only cloud the present if one chooses it to be so. 

Understand why you want what you want and why you continue to accept the states of your life, and you will find the space and strength to decide for yourself.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Stop Labeling People

Labeling one's surroundings is a strongly rooted habit-
we subconsciously organize our environment into categories which help us "survive."
From a survivalist viewpoint, this tendency is extremely helpful-
we must label that area of the forest as dangerous, the members of a neighboring tribe as friendly or lethal, and that body of water as impure.

Arriving at quick conclusions when facing crucial survival situations is useful and promotes our well-being, but when that same tendency is practiced in a totally nonthreatening environment (e.g. our social lives), we actually hinder the flow of our happiness.

How We Organize the People Around Us

Most of us constantly form observations about others within the first few seconds of meeting them.
Their appearance, body language, and general "vibe" seem to communicate to us their personalities.
This alone, in its "pure" act, is a very harmless exercise. There is nothing wrong with deducing a person's emotions, attitude, and mood through what they subconsciously and consciously communicate.

We can use our empathy to tell if a person is happy, tired, sad, grumpy, confident, insecure, and what not. Still, this observation, even when done in a totally neutral manner, can only go so far as to describe a person in the moment one is observing them.
One can not wear the signs of their past unless they are living their past as a habit.

Although helpful when using empathy in order to connect with others, observing others easily and frequently goes awry. Instead of observing others in order to relate to them, we form opinions that separate us from others.

Projecting Onto Others and Cloudy Judgement

Once we stop observing others with a clear mind and open heart, we create opinions based on judgement and separation from that person.

When we see someone who looks a certain way we do not like, we react emotionally- usually with a subtle sense of annoyance or disgust, because that person does not fit the expectations we hold. We can also attribute this undesired appearance to a personality trait or lifestyle we disapprove of.

Someone who sees another dressed in revealing clothes and lots of makeup might react negatively and consider the person cheap, vain, or trashy because they do not look the way they're comfortable with. Once these almost instantaneous opinions form, they harbor extremely negative emotions, thoughts, and behavior towards others.

The person doing the judging is separating him or herself from the other person- isolating themselves from a person who seems to possess traits they do not like. In reality, those very traits are usually possessed by the person doing the judging. This projection of undesired traits onto others causes a majority of the problems within social interactions. 

This can also happen with seemingly "positive" reactions to people. Someone might see traits that they feel they do not have or they deeply admire about themselves in another and rate the person highly. The person doing the rating is attached to these traits and attaches to people who possess these traits. These judgments can lead to obsession. This can also lead a person into regarding the other so highly that they lose respect for themselves and give up their power- like an imbalanced relationship where one is "better" or "more desirable" than the other.

Projections are created when one does not accept themselves completely, when one's limiting beliefs cause them to disown traits and qualities they possess or have the potential to cultivate, and when depends on their surroundings to define themselves.

How to Stop Projecting Labels Onto Others

If one wants to stop projecting onto others, one most accept themselves fully and truthfully evaluate themselves in a clear-minded manner.
One must accept and bring up the things about them they are uncomfortable with. One has to work through these issues and let go of limiting beliefs in order to find total self acceptance.

In order to let go of limiting beliefs, one has to stop projecting fears onto him or herself. Usually, these fears come from the past or present. One can be so caught up on the past that they forget the power in the present, or one can be so anxious about the future that they do not process the feelings and emotions they are presently experiencing.

When one simply lets go of the past and future and lives in the moment, the nagging script of past mistakes and expectations of the future subside and one can tune into the possibilities of the present. One can be clear in the present. Only in the present can one avoid being defined by their past actions and future plans.

One must also practice maintaining an open heart towards themselves and towards others. When one acts from their heart, they do not project expectations onto others. Instead, one can act from a place of genuine care and understanding for those around him or her.

Humans are social creatures, and happiness can not come from isolating one's self from the rest of the population due to illusory beliefs and misconstrued view points.

Connecting with others on a blank slate allows happiness and well-being to flow for both parties.

How to Stop Objectifying Yourself

Everyone possesses a different set of values. Judging others based on conflicting value systems does not result in any positive progress, connection, or sustainable enjoyment.
Yet common ground exists between most people living within society.
One of the most controversial themes existing throughout social boundaries is the subject of objectifying people into mere sexual or visual objects.

Although the individual does not possess control over how others react and perceive them, individuals have the power to send conscious and subconscious messages as to how they would like to be treated. Behavior and choices all contribute to how an individual suggests others treat him or her.

If You've Got It, Flaunt It

A person with a healthy self esteem will feel comfortable with their body. They accept and take care of their body and take pride in keeping up their health and appearances. Some individuals perceive a certain wardrobe as immodest, whilst others may think it acceptable and attractive.

The intention behind how we show off our bodies is much more important and weighty than the actual clothing we wear.

If one wears revealing clothing in order to gain attention and admiration, one risks becoming a mere physical object. Yet, another person may wear the same outfit out of admiration for the style and appearance of the actual clothing. 

We live in a world of intention, and what we pay attention to grows.
If one merely focuses on how many approving glances are thrown his or her way when looking a certain way and fitting a certain image, one becomes reliant upon others' reactions to validate their identity and value.

If one focuses too much on appearances, one equates themselves to the level of beauty one believes they occupy. Beauty becomes a qualitative competition, and the pursuit of such "beauty" harbors negative feelings for the individual and for the individual's acquaintances and friends.

You are not just your face.
Although a person's expression and body language signal their inner activity and emotions, there is no deep meaning behind socially celebrated features.
Large breasts do not make you more of a woman.
Huge arms do not make you more of a man.
A tiny nose and plump lips do not make you a better person.

Although taking care and maintaining the physical body is crucial to happiness and well-being, the identifications made with the physical attributes are purely egotistical and illusory.
Looking a certain way does not demand of you a certain behavior.

Looks Fade

Vanity in moderation never hurt anyone. There is nothing wrong in taking pride in appearance and looking a certain way because it makes you happy. 
When we attempt to look a certain way in order to please others, we lose our power.

Generally, women will always research the certain "looks" the general male population approves of, and men will always look to the GQ or Men's Health magazine.

Besides the ingrained survival instincts that cause men to prefer fertile, curvy women and women to prefer tall, broad shouldered men, the rest of our opinions are generated by the media.

At one point in time, the general population thought blondes were better because of the prevalence of blue eyed, blonde haired starlets being treated like princesses and winning Prince Charming in the movies and television. Some of us know how ridiculous it is to mark one hair color superior to others. Yet some are still living under this subtle suggestion.

Women are constantly dying their hair or changing their makeup in order to emulate the latest celebrity. Usually, these celebrities condone an image based on sexual prowess. Smoky eyes, pushed up breasts, bedroom hair, and non-existent clothing has become the norm. Sex sells in the entertainment industry, but those celebrities are being paid to be watched.

The prevalence of sexually exciting celebrities serves as a "source of inspiration" for the population. The population relates to the sensationalism of the media. We expect the admiration from being a beauty to be gawked at because we compare ourselves to the airbrushed people working in an industry that expressly depends on looks to function and thrive.

The distinction between the entertainment world and real world has been severely blurred.

Why This Hurts Your Self Esteem

If one wants to be a slave to providing visual pleasure, then that is a personal choice.
But happiness is not to be found exploiting a subjective ideal.
There will always be people who do not find you attractive and do not see your beauty.
There will always be people who others find more attractive and beautiful than you.
There will always be people who just don't care how you look.

And then there are the people who equate you to your looks because you do it to yourself first.
There are people who only value your beauty.
There are people who only want to sleep with you because of your looks.
There are people who will criticize and judge you based on appearance.

Accepting the fact that approval does not lie within others will free you from pursuing ideals dependent on the opinions of others. Once you start living and looking the way you want to for yourself, life gets a lot better.

The Thing About Modesty

Modesty is subjective. 
Yet, its hard to deny that overexposure just isn't attractive anymore.
When one constantly wears revealing clothes, there is no mystery.
There can also be no denying that wearing very revealing clothing sends off a specific message. 
Some people see past the clothing and disregard it, but 
the majority of people will associate overexposure to negative traits.

"Why are you dressing like that anyways?" is a good question to think about.
People with nice bodies like to flaunt their nice bodies- they work hard on them.
But one should be careful not the become their nice bodies.
The unhealthiest habits can come from the most beneficial choices.

Just You

You'll never please everyone and even wanting to is such a drag.
Just try to be aware of why you choose to look the way you look.
And if you are experiencing certain social interactions that become the norm for you, evaluate your situation.

If you are being treated a certain way, the cold, hard truth is your looks probably have something to do with it.
Just learn to differentiate between your physical looks and your expressions and body language- which actually have more meaningful implications.

How to not objectify others is for another time.