Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Day 55 - The Decision to Break Down, and Start Over

Working on managing mental health is not separate from working on all areas of our lives. Sometimes we have to realize that we are creating our lives from the starting point of a disordered mind, and that we could be creating lives that are not optimal. Here's my blog on how I am and have been working through this reality:

This post is continued from:

The Day I realized I had A Profound Inability to Make Decisions for Myself


I Taught Myself How To Make A Real Decision

I left off where I had made my first real decision for myself in my life, independent from outside influence, and from a starting point of creating a better self and life. The main point being that when I made this decision my entire life fell apart around me.

I realized that making decisions dependent on other people my whole life created a foundation on top of which I built a life that wasn’t beneficial to me. When I started taking myself back and making decision for me, I rocked my life to its very foundations and all the structures fell.

This was somewhat traumatic, and maybe I did too fast and all at once in stead of taking it one step at a time. But I was hell-bent on fixing things in my life and had no patience to wait.

Some of the bigger decisions I started making was really committing to improve my relationship with my husband, and to go back to school so that I could empower myself to make a better life for us.

Within that, going back to school to get a degree was another biggie.

While I was away at school, my husband and I had our own individual realizations, and agreed to end the marriage. Another biggie for me.

I also decided to quit my job (eek!) and move back to Canada from the US (gak!).

I decided to start my life over on all fronts with very little money, a lot of debt, and little usable work history in order to fulfill my decision to get a ‘real’ job in the corporate world.

I got a ‘real’ job I the corporate world, and decided to stay there till my debt was paid off.

There is a list of the top 5 stressors that can really mess with your mind, things like the death of a loved one, divorce, career change, moving, and health issues. I was living three of them simultaneously.

Also, within the entire playout, I did not take easily to the corporate world, I did not have a smooth experience dating for the first time after 10 years, I did not handle living alone so well, and I didn’t integrate well back into the city.

BUT, I did not give up. I felt so strongly about the decisions I had made, because I had made them for me. Within this, I found a perseverance, commitment and dedication which I nurtured and developed throughout the 4 years that this lasted. All of this was made possible because I had discovered self-forgiveness, with which I taught myself how to be gentle and patient with myself, push myself and never give up.

Where I stand now is at the top of the hole I had dug. A perspective from which I can now look down and see all the experiences objectively. I can also look at myself in the present moment and see, I paid my debt, I have savings, I have a really cool new relationship that I find extremely supportive. I have friends in the city and have created a life there that I enjoy. And I can look to the future, wherein I have future plans that I am working towards, and I am excited about what I am going to do next!

What is the moral of the story?

For me it has been to stop being asleep at the wheel.

It is so easy to just float along in life and not realize how quickly and easily we can lose ourselves and the true starting point of SELF.

It is self first, always.

Not in a selfish way, but in the way that if you don’t take care of yourself and live with eyes open in awareness, how can you ever expect to assist or support anyone else? You can’t do anything for someone else that you have not learned to do yourself.

Also, lastly – it does not just happen naturally.

We are basically programmed into a default mode that we have to snap ourselves out of. I used a course called DesteniIProcess, where I learned about self-forgiveness, self-commitments and self-corrective application. I like the structure and the discipline required to keep it up, because again,

I am doing it for me.

Find what works for you!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Day 54: I Taught Myself How To Make A Real Decision

After having created a life of consequence in the form of debt, health problems, addiction, wasted work experience, and isolation, I made one of the most important decisions of my life. It was a decision for myself alone at first, where I stood solid and firm as the decision-maker, in complete and raw self-honesty. I decided that I was going to stop living in such a way where the outflows of my choices, actions and decisions were that of consequence and self-diminishment and instead start the process of making decisions that would create myself as a better human being.

I saw that I had to do this for myself first, but that as a result I would be a better version of myself for those in my reality and thus, be a better human being in this world. I wrote out a list of self-commitments, such as:

"I commit myself to take complete self-responsibility for the decision that I make, and to stand within and as the decisions that I make, so that they are MY decisions.

I commit myself to stop seeking/wanting/needing/desiring validation and approval for the decision that I make.

I commit myself to making decisions and taking action based on the principles I decide to stand by, and not based on what’s easiest or what I’m in the mood for.

I commit myself to eradicate the fear of failure from my Life."

I also wrote out instructions for myself, guidelines based in principle that I could look to in moments when I would face those moments of wanting to abandon myself within the decision-making process.
Interestingly, when I decided to make decisions in this way, my life literally fell apart. I learned that I had been holding some expectations that things would get better because I was assisting and supporting myself to create a better self. What I hadn't considered was the fact that my entire reality had been built upon a habitual and patterned foundation of character, and now that I was changing myself at this foundational level, all the structures I had built upon it were crumbling.

I am grateful for this now though, because I can see now that in order to build the new, me must at the same time let go of the old. The things that I let go of were relationships that I had formed that were not best for me (either changed/altered or left completely), environments/living situations that were not optimal were left and new ones were created, career changes made, addictive substances were removed from my life, and many other changes, both internal and external took place.

Each of these actions of letting-go were a result of my new decision-making process. Each one taking away hiding places, dependencies and escape or avoidance mechanisms. This left me squarely in the face of the reality of myself. From this position I had to face many of my own weaknesses (strengths in the making!), I had to make many mistakes (mis-takes), and I had to step up or step out. Herein, another important decision: I chose (and continue to choose) to step up, I want to play, I am here to participate fully.

In my next post I will share how I dug myself out of the hole that was left, and began to build something almost entirely new.

Sneak peek BELOW:

(I've been pushing myself to incorporate into my life new things that support me to grow, expand and change. Among those things I chose snowboarding as a way to get some exercise, exert some energy in a way that supports my body, and have some FUN!

'Fun' being something I had neglected in my life for some time now, and something that does require some effort to create and make room for among all the work and responsibilities, as well as resistances to breaking up habitual patterns. Letting go of the old and creating the new!)

Day 53: The Day I realized I had A Profound Inability to Make Decisions for Myself

I can pinpoint the day when I realized I had a profound inability to make decisions for myself: September 10th, 2012. Here's the quote I just read that I had written 5 years ago:

"I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to have created and manifested myself as an approval-seeking character throughout my life as a way of ‘getting out of’ making my own decisions, and not having to take responsibility for the decisions I end up making, wherein, they are not my decisions, but rather the decisions of the majority of people whom I’ve perceived as having approved and validated the decision."

This was a part of my personality that, when lived throughout my life, created a life that didn't even feel like my own. I felt like most of what I had lived up until that moment was controlled by outside forces that I was pretty much helpless to influence. The only choices I really felt I had was the flavour of avoidance, the style of lying low, and the method of escape.

It's amazing how the simple act of direct looking at yourself can plant the most potent seeds of self-change. Since that day five years ago, I embarked on a mission to take back my life, and oooooh what a hole did I have to dig myself out of! In my next post I will reveal how I turned myself from 'hole' to 'whole', through the sometimes terrifying process of facing the very present consequences caused by the sins of the past, where the present consequences are the gifts to a better future.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

How I Create Peace In My Life

            The moment I found out that I had limited myself to a definition of ‘peace’ in my life that involved running away, escape, and complete removal from my daily environment, was the moment I was asked to really have a look at it. I would like to experience more peace in my daily life, but I have never really taken a step in awareness to actually create it.
After involving myself with Desteni for almost 10 years now, I have taken many steps in awareness to create things in my life, resulting in a life and experience that is tremendously different from the path I was on almost ten years ago. In this blog, I want to share an example of how this kind of life creation works for me, how it starts so small and so simply, and how it can seem so insignificant at first, but with a little attention and nourishment, can grow into a real and substantiated way of living.
In this case, like most things that I change in my life, it started with Desteni when as a group, we had a look at the word ‘peace’. The action of looking is always the first step for me in the journey of my own self-creation. I immediately saw that I had been living the word ‘peace’ as something that can be attained mostly when I am away, ideally on vacation at a tropical destination with a beach, the ocean, and being faaaar away from work, bills, stress, home and all of daily life.
The first thing I did when I decided to look at this word was to apply a little honesty: this way of living ‘peace’ is unrealistic because I can’t afford to do it regularly. So this means that to experience ‘peace’ I need to spend money, “extra” money I don’t always have, and when I do, I usually end up stressing about it later.
And now a little self-honestly: ‘Peace’ defined in this way is more like escape. It is a temporary hiding from myself. Even when I do go on vacation I still feel anxieties come up, I still worry, I still judge myself and, for example, my body… I still face concerns and uncertainties the same as I do when I am home. And when I get back, it usually takes less then a week for me to move back into the things I was trying to escape in the first place, because the reality is that I cannot escape from myself, and I cannot escape my own mind.
Is it enjoyable to escape on vacation? Yes! Without a doubt! But is it real? No, unfortunately it is not real peace.
So how do I as a destonian define real peace? I define it as something substantial that I can integrate into my life at any time, no matter where I am. I define it as peace in mind, being and body, where I understand and am confident about who and what I am in that moment, even if I am not perfect and even if I have made mistakes, I can be at peace with myself and where I’m at.
Now I ask questions: How do I live this? What is the first baby step I can take where I plant seeds of peace within me that I can nourish and grow to develop over time? This ia what I did:
I took a look at these questions while I was at work. I brought them up within myself I moments that were the opposite of peaceful – emotional moments of stress, rush, anxiety, pressure and distress- and I had a look at how to create peace in those moments. What I found was if I take a moment for myself to bring the emotion up (instead of pushing it down and moving on with my day), that I would feel it all throughout my body. Yes, it would be uncomfortable to immerse myself into emotional experiences of stress, worry, anxiety, pressure and distress, but I saw I could stabilize myself within that discomfort, and have a look around at what was creating it, and then ask my questions about how I can create peace in these moments.
            I saw that in order to create peace, once I identified what was creating the inner turmoil, I would have a look at myself, as a person, and see all the steps I had already taken to support myself within and through turmoil in the past.  This helps me to see that I am not so lost and alone as I sometimes feel in moments. I have really stepped up over the past ten years to be there for me, and how rarely do I give myself credit for this process I have walked to support myself? Well, now is the perfect moment to do so. This helps to set the platform for peace, as I really feel that I am here for myself no matter what, and I can depend on me.
The next thing I did was to look at what steps can I take to resolve the current situation. What am I resisting, avoiding or hesitating on? Do I need to make a decision, do I need to take a step? Do I need to re-align my focus? Do I need to take 10 minutes to just go breathe? Maybe I need to do some self-forgiveness, or maybe I need to write something down instead of relying on myself to remember it. All of these have come up for me as solutions at different times, in moments of inner emotional turmoil.    
The action of taking the experience into me entirely, looking at it, and scripting a solution for myself, I saw creates a little peace within me. Once I have taken steps to actually walk the solution, I feel even more at peace. At the end of the day, when I take a look back at how I lived that day, at how I stood up with, as and for myself, how I walked a different path than I would have had I continued on with or suppressed the inner turmoil, I can breathe and live that peace that I got this. This is just my start, it will be a process because some days I do not live my best potential, and so I understand from here it will take time. I am at peace with that.
I can see that over the past ten years I have proven to myself that I am here for me. I have little by little created a self that can take this process of redefining and living words for example, and implement it over time and watch it actually take root and grow in my life. I can see that I can create myself, develop and expand myself in ways that are beneficial to me. I can see that the desteni tools and principles have had a huge impact in my life because when I first heard of them, I could see the common sense and self-empowerment, but when I actually asserted myself to apply the information, I saw real change.
Anyone can do this, all the steps are available for free online, but it is not a quick fix. It is a way of life where the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years put in to it – time that would be passing anyways – are all moments of opportunity to turn self around and direct self into a way that is really how life should be lived. Where I (self) decide who and how I am in any given moment. I choose the direction, I am at the reigns and steer my ship through the stress, the anxiety, the breakdowns and the build ups, the highs and the lows. I parent myself. I soothe myself. I give myself peace that is real.
The information shared from desteni, the group of people walking a similar process and supporting themselves and each other, have been a source of seeing what is possible. It has been a challenge and has put me outside of my comfort zone a whole lot, which is great because what better way is there to develop and get to know yourself as a person? The first step in creating a better world is to create a better self.

To take the first step in supporting YOURSELF, you can check out the following links that led me to take the first steps toward healing, and continue to support me to this day: 

SOUL –  The School of Ultimate Living is an online community of people interested in
discovering and developing their utmost potential – Invest in a wide range of Interviews and Support yourself to Self Perfection
Journey To Life Blogs – Read the blogs from those walking the 7 year journey to life.
Self and Living – Practical Living Support To Live to Your Utmost Potential
DIP Lite – Free Online Course to get you started with learning the Tools of Self Support
DIP PRO -A Desteni Course for those Ready to Walk the Journey of a Lifetime
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