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Habit Disruption Method: +2 -1

We all struggle with “bad” habits, where they come from and our vulnerability to them is for another piece, right now I am going to give you a preliminary tool to help disrupt and manage those bad habits that have such deep hooks. These habits may range from smoking cigarettes, eating too much dessert, watching porn, drinking too much alcohol, spending too much time on social media, taking recreational drugs, too much time surfing news headlines, binge watching Netflix or any other number of self-destructive/self-limiting habits, habits that whittle away at our lives until there is literally nothing left.

In order to break these habits we first need to put them into perspective, to see the control they wield over us. When a habit is triggered we lose our sense of periphery, we get tunnel vision, we then yield to that tunnel vision. That narrow focus is so powerful that we can’t imagine making any other kind of choice at that time. This Habit Disruption Method is simple. The next time you are about to engage in a habit you want to break, or diminish, WAIT.

Wait exactly 2 minutes. 

This doesn’t mean that you are quitting. Whatever you decide to do at this point, with these 2 minutes, is up to you, but what you are creating here is a juncture, a node in your patterns, and the opportunity to do something else until those 2 minutes have elapsed. 

Some choices that I insert into those 2 minutes are writing in a note app, reading a book on Kindle or Google Play Books, sitting and meditating, cleaning up or just collecting myself and considering the decision of the habit that I am about to slip into. 

After those 2 Minutes, Engage Minus 1

By all means go ahead and light up, look for “likes”, go another round, read about some person who you will never meet whose very existence makes you upset, whatever you like. Now that you are back to doing whatever it is that you know is not helping you get ready to stop a little earlier than you otherwise would. 

Just a little earlier. 

If you are smoking a cigarette, don’t take the last drag, stop scrolling and log out a minute earlier than you would, leave a little ice cream in the bowl, watch one less suggested video on YouTube.

You don’t need to apply this to all of your self-destructive habits all at once, as a matter of fact I strongly advise against it. That is a formula for failure and failure can leave us feeling defeated and powerless, which is the furthest thing from the truth, you are much more powerful than you can possibly grasp because all of those habits have been working and orchestrated to diffuse that power. You are powerful.


Take this Method one habit at a time. Identify what you are targeting and depending upon how serious that habit is, how deeply entrenched it is (like 20+ years of smoking) give it the respect that it needs and isolate it. Try this for a month, every day, for every cigarette, or for whatever else it is that you are taking your power back from. It is your life, your body, your mind. There are millions of people who are all too happy to occupy your space, fill your head up and empty your pockets. It is time to take your agency back. Right. Now.

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Responsible Physical Wellness

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Unfair Trade

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Only You

You are your own benchmark.

Don’t bother comparing yourself to others.

There is always someone out there doing “better” and “worse”. Neither person changes your true state.

The only true measure you can take is that of yourself.

Even then our tools are limited.

Divest yourself of self-judgement.
Observe.

Seek only to understand and accept the differences in your experience, behavior, thoughts and feelings.

Growth is relative to only you.

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Negativity Loops

Negativity Loops

A Negativity Loop is one that keeps repeating but leaves us feeling powerless to act, flailing about internally, or in a negative state of mind; angry, frustrated, empty, hopeless, disappointed, jealous, or suspicious. A Negativity Loop may even deceive us into believing that certain negative conversations and communications are empowering acts but these conversations are merely extensions of the Negativity Loop, reinforcing the Negativity Loop and can even spread the Negativity Loop like a mind virus. This is how Negativity Loops are used to manipulate individuals and the masses.

Negativity Loops (NLs) block healthy behavior. Negativity Loops inhibit clear thinking and inhibit positive action. Negative loops have a tendency to paralyze us. Negativity Loops paralyze us first internally; then, with our actual freedom of movement and concentration. 

One of the most impressive attributes of Negativity Loops is that they have the power to deceive us into believing that we are being productive, thinking critically and analytically, but what is actually going on is nothing more than a rehashing of the same internal scripts that we have rehearsed over and over to make ourselves feel better, self-sooth; this is ironic because the negative spiral only further distances us from our creative, open and positively energized self.

When we understand and recognize our Negativity Loops we can adjust them, intervene and disrupt them, but when we don’t recognize NLs, when we don’t understand NLs, we not only fall victim to them but we wind up knocked off balance. Negativity Loops can be and are intentionally created and exploited by others to manipulate us, control our thinking and by extension of throughput affect our behaviors. The use of Negativity Loops are used by individuals, organizations, and agencies. 

Sometimes we are powerless to act, unable to prevent them from being initiated, other times we are able to take direct action by cutting them off, or being preventative by knowing how we respond to certain people, situations, and other influences.

Negativity Loops don’t need to be ruminative, although they frequently are, negative thoughts going around and around on their own dark carousel. NLs can be occasional, just sort of pop up now and then, seemingly to appear on their own, but they are often triggered, or cued.

What’s important to realize is that NLs are occurring, recurring and holding us up, distracting us from what is important in our lives, and distracting us from what we can take direct action on, or keeping us in situations we should remove ourselves from. It’s also helpful to understand what might initiate or cue a Negativity Loop. Every moment we spend in the grasp of NLs is another moment of joy, inner peace or creative thinking we have lost.

Some common catalysts for NLs are

  1. Fatigue
  2. Various fears and phobias (which are their own NLs)
  3. Arrogance
  4. Exposure to negative thoughts and images via social media, YouTube, print or other media
  5. Social circles, family, friends, acquaintances, professional relationships

Negativity Loops are not only thoughts that are preoccupied with animosity, anger and contempt, but also with fantasy relationships (the princess and the prince, celebrities, elected officials, sport figures), obsession with others who are close to us, or those who we grant access to through social media, messaging or other social interactions, as well as craving approval or acceptance, which is an extension of a malformed desire to love and be loved in return, a natural and positive thought pattern.

This is by no means an exhaustive list or complete run down of what and how Negativity Loops are or how to deal with them. I will continue to expand on this area of cognition and consciousness, as well as introduce tactics to help navigate away, or learn to use NLs in genuinely self-empowering ways, harvesting NLs at will for our use rather than being acted upon and controlled by them. 

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Living in Congruence

Finding peace in our lives may not be for everyone, it may not even be for you at this time in your life. Many people enjoy the inner chaos they live in and the outer chaos it creates. They might not know why they embrace the chaos, why they enjoy it, and why they have become dependent upon the chaos, but they do, maybe you?

There are many who don’t have the slightest understanding how our inner and outer worlds are connected. We tend to only see how life unfolds before us as “how the world works”, not a reflection of who we are, the choices we make and the consequences of those choices.

For Example:
There are countless folks who are constantly finding themselves arguing with other people, fighting a nonstop battle against the world, upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed and perplexed as to why their lives don’t move forward. When looking at these people’s situations it appears on the surface that they don’t like this constant conflict. They don’t like how others are treat and respond to them.  After all, if they liked it, they wouldn’t be angry, and upset right?

It may even be you who is out there looking for a fight in public, social media, in your family, with friends, then living in a state of aggravation, and allowing those negative experiences to govern your life. It takes a massive amount of self-honesty to acknowledge the fact that you actually like the agitation, the frustration, the fighting, the never-ending conflict. I’ve definitely been there.

There are countless ways we justify and rationalize this lifestyle, if we ever take the time to do so. These people (and I am/have been one) also have ways to find each other outside of their awareness, almost like a secret encrypted message that is picked up and responded to. These signals are not like signs held up by limo drivers at an airport saying “Conflict here!”, it’s more like a collection of signals that all work together to guide us in the direction that we consciously and unconsciously want to go. We may travel down that path sometimes for a few days, other times on a major life detour like years, until it all inevitably BLOWS UP…AGAIN! Which, as it turns out, is just fine, until it isn’t.

At some point it we might look inside & outside yourself and say “this isn’t working for me, I need a change. I need to change.”

You may have already said or thought things like “I want to lose weight”, “I’m sick of fighting with people”, “I am sick of being angry at the world”; or, you have been giving yourself signals, like “Why are there so many negative people?”, “Everyone is always disappoints.”

There are plenty of legitimate things to be frustrated & angry about but allowing those things to live inside your head and continue to govern your behavior without any direct control over their outcome or influence is a sure fire formula for frustration and disappointment and stagnation.

If you are genuinely sick and tired of frustration, anger, and disappointment it’s time to look at your choices, and your habitual thinking patterns. The good news is that there is a way out, the challenging news is that it will take time, dedication and may initially look and feel like sacrifice. However, after the initial period of sacrifice, a paradigm shift will occur, a new way of seeing the world will come into focus, and what once felt like a sacrifice will feel like a gift. It will feel like freedom.

Living in Congruence
Living in Congruence means that we align our thinking and beliefs with our behaviors. When we live in congruence we make choices that make sense with our beliefs and principles. When we don’t live in congruence with ourselves we are pulled apart internally, and it happens all the time.

Some classic examples of how people live outside of congruence.

  • We think we want to lose weight, but we keep eating and drinking foods that make us fat.
  • We think we want to quit smoking, but we keep smoking.
  • We say we love our kids, but we find ourselves yelling at them, some even hitting them.
  • We are members of a religion that teaches love and care for humanity, but we support leaders who pursue destructive, selfish, violent and oppressive policies.
  • We maintain destructive relationships with people who leave us feeling drained, marginalized, deceived or taken advantage of.
  • We see ourselves as kind but we freely insult others.

Change, real change, starts with personal insight, self-awareness and a willingness to be honest with oneself. There may be a period of letting go of a part we have attached ourselves to. A period of self-forgiveness, a release of behaviors; often the most difficult shift is in our relationships.

You get one chance at today, how are you going to live it?

 

 

 

In-the-know

Feeling like we are “in-the-know” is incredibly addictive.

When we feel like we are “in-the-know” it props up some aspect of our self-concept. It makes us feel smarter than other people. Smugly self-assured. I think there are narcissistic elements, elitist tendencies, but also elements tied to survival, an evolutionary adaptation.

There’s something about believing that we are solely capable of curating and analyzing available information; as if we are running our own truth and accuracy filtering algorithms, whereas the closer version to our situation is that we are being fed bite sized pieces of information by 3rd parties and algorithms produced by people who want to direct our attention so as to influence that which we believe to be true, or just keep us sticking around, usually to sell us something.

We are regularly lied to. Everywhere you turn you are faced with another lie, and this onslaught of lies, deception and manipulation (in every media type, personal interactions, government reports, business narratives, law enforcement, judiciary, etc…) has fostered a hyper-vigilance and compulsion to respond, “correct”, shout down, snicker, sneer at and reprimand at every opportunity – just not at the right people.

For the elitists, those who feel the compulsion to assert how “smart” they are (face meet mirror) there is no discourse. No listening. No ability to expand and consider another person’s observations; regardless of completely different life experiences.

This brand of elitism is white knuckled by the status seeking & self-impressed. Humility is considered a weakness to be exploited, to reinforce our self-image and to make matters worse people follow the arrogant and assertive.

I assert no panacea, I wish all joy.

On Strength

When you look back on your actions you will see that you were your least understanding, most cruel, most vicious not when you were strongest but when you were the most desperate, the most tired, the most lost, possessed the least sense of meaning and purpose.

This does not excuse the choices that were made, for many others did not make the same choices under worse conditions, it is merely meant to show that strength is not represented through cruelty, but through compassion, empathy and active care for others.

The strongest carry the weak until they are strong again. Cruelty and contempt represent frailty of character, whereas compassion, love and active-care represent strength of character. Creation always requires more energy than destruction.

On Strength

When you look back on your actions you will see that you were your least understanding, most cruel, most vicious not when you were strongest but when you were the most desperate, the most tired, the most lost, possessed the least sense of meaning and purpose.

This does not excuse the choices that were made, for many others did not make the same choices under worse conditions, it is merely meant to show that strength is not represented through cruelty, but through compassion, empathy and active care for others.

The strongest carry the weak until they are strong again. Cruelty and contempt represent frailty of character, whereas compassion, love and active-care represent strength of character. Creation always requires more energy than destruction.