Getting distance

Ive been sick a few days now. I have a cold. Its been a bore really. Ive been parked in front of the TV for five days. I couldn’t do the things I wanted and had planned. I wanted to work, take care of the dogs, study, meet a friend, workout etc. Get the new routine rolling. But now, with the pandemic, whenever you get sick you cant do anything just in case. So I had to cancel my plans and stay home. A lot of Netflix watching. A lot of eating. It made me bored but also it made me motivated; After a few days I became too passive. Lying in my bed. I didn’t like it. Ive been watching episode after episode, feeling like a zombie. I felt myself feeling down and I felt sorry for myself. I felt negative and self-critical. After a few days I decided no more tv and spent the day reading instead. Immediately the depressed hopeless feeling disappeared. I felt alive again. Just like that. It gave me insight. Insight that I need to keep tv watching a minor part in my everyday routine. It has its moments as a good and easy distraction to wind down or as a social past time but not letting it take over. Its easily done.. The difference in my mood from both activities were clearer than ever.

I also had an insight regarding food and my eating behavior. I need to concentrate on quality over quantity – which, is not something ive focused so much on before..

I will try to buy organic and groceries I deem a bit more “worth it” instead of getting my hands on as much vegetables and fruit as I can. I don’t know why I haven’t shifted my aim to this before but maybe I needed high carb foods to binge on first until I reached my ideal weight and then binging on high carb foods would make me uncomfortably full. Which they do now, because I weigh less I need less food/calories. My mind is not accustomed yet, but my internal signals of fullness remind me. And this is how I need to shift focus. Im fed up with feeling too full. It’s the natural progression in my food relationship journey! (This also gave me an idea on how I will set up my nutritional coaching in the future – how I will structure the change for people but that’s for another post)

Being sick then, gave me distance to my obligations. It forced me to cancel my mini goals for the day and just be, even though my mind was occupied with reality escape – it indirectly made me realize things with time.

In a more literal sense, I also got distance from the city. My boyfriend is from a small town and he had plans on going back home for a long weekend as he had a week off. It was at this time I got sick so I stayed back in our apartment. But as I started to get better I followed him a few days later by bus. We are now staying at his childhood home. We have been here many times during our time together. Its a very isolated house in the forest and it’s big and open. Its private and nice. Its strange but this time I felt so comfortable. More than before. I felt relaxed immediately when I arrived. A calmness I haven’t had in a long time. Its like im living in a meditative state – feeling present often. Its freaking great. Im not trying, it just happened and im welcoming it. I don’t know what happened or changed but im trying not to overanalyze and just be grateful. This type of distance from the city life always felt nice when we went back to visit his family because its calm. Its quiet. Its private. Its surrounded by nature. This time though – exactly what I needed. It feels like a retreat. And this got my mind set on – I need to live on the countryside. It gives me the same serenity that living in the van does. My ideal state. No stress. Just privacy and nature. Simplicity. I know that me and the boyfriend will buy a land or a cabin and renovate it. Make it our own. In the future though. For now, we still want to travel. Live half a year abroad somewhere warm and half the year, when its warm in Sweden, stay here. Who knows what the future will look like, especially now with covid, but I now know what I want. Accommodation wise. Career is another big question mark. But I try to have faith that the universe will lead me the way.

So, getting distances – so important. Getting distance or.. getting a little break. Getting a cold is a clear signal from your body that you need it. ❤

An update and no specific topic

Im in an in-between place in my life now. Ive finished my summer job and im now going back to studying. Mainly to be able to keep our student apartment where the rent is great for being so central but also to get a income (small but always something) Reading more courses in nutrition will open up for opportunities in the future if I decide to study for a master. If I complete a master I can become a researcher eventually. That could be something. Stable income.. Since we cant move abroad I might as well. AND im taking the zen coach course in a few days. Going up to the capital and staying with a friend for a week. AND hahahah so many things but im also looking into starting my own business. Nutirionist/coaching. Getting used to the idea of trying and failing 😀 AND im dog sitting while doing all this. To get a few extra bucks and also company. Hard to keep track of all? Imagine my head. Many things to keep track off. It will take some time before I get into it. But it feels good. Im motivated and look forward to everything. I try to look at it a week at a time. Trust the universe and all that. It will show me the way in time. I only have to be patient.

This will be all for this post. My mind is all over the place so not really feeling sitting down and writing about something. See ya 😊

Creating a healthy relationship to approval

Ive written a lot about outward approval. Its so important to me. I crave the approval from others in order to feel enough. Its not ideal to have this relationship to approval. Something that is external from you will always disapear and that will in turn make you codependent. When its gone youre left with a craving to get it again. Make you feel whole again. This emptiness, not enough feeling, is what makes people likely to develop addictions. How can you not have a relationship to approval from others like its a drug? How can you treat it like its only a pleasent surprise whenever you get a compliment and someone shows that they approve of you as a person? A welcomed surprise but you dont chase it..

The answer seems simple. I need to get internally what someone elses approval wakes up inside me. How? Breaking it down, im chasing a feeeling i get outwardly. And what feeling is that? A feeling of warm and tingly warmth in my stomach; a sense of belonging to the world. I only get it and have the relationship to that feeling when im with others. Ive gotten it a few times inwardly before but with the help of someone else. When i had my zen coaching in Barcelona i felt the feeling of coming home in my body. I felt complete and full. When i experienced it I immediately felt moved and cried. I didnt know it was possible. She helped me then with being present and having the courage to be in stillness, without a feeling of impatience and boredom that comes with it. That was with her guidance. Sitting alone i find it hard to shut off my thoughts. I judge myself that i cant be still. I judge my boredom and i judge my impatience. 

When i was at Vipassana (a silent retreat for 10 days) it took up until 7 days before i could really meditate. Before my mental narrative kept butting in constantly. Being silent and in stillness was a struggle. I realize that was after a week disconnected from society and THEN i could finally get distance to my inner monologue. A WEEK. Trying to meditate daily would make this easier with time. I KNOW THIIIIS. how many times havent i written this on my blog? I know how meditation would benefit me. And having that approach of it being a benefit to my “goals” makes it also a task. It shouldnt be a task because it makes it a thing I want to accomplish, not something I do to enjoy doing it. That is what happened after Vipassana. At the retreat I meditated for ten hours every day and then came back to society with the “prescription” of meditating an hour in the morning and one in the evening. It was hard. I didnt even make it one day. The first day i did 40 minutes in the morning then at the evening i did a half assed attempt then it slowly but surely ran out in the sand. It became something i dreaded. This is why i want to go to vipassana again and retake the experience. Learn from it some more.

I tasted the feeling of belonging without having to earn it and this is why im so motivated and continue to chase it. I want to feel this all the time. And i can. I will. I need to realize this also. Its my responsability. Everything i feel. Every thought, every reaction and every feeling is my responsability. This is frightening and at the same time so empowering. How wonderful isnt it?? thinking of how depressed i was when i was around 18 years old i feel awful. I knew i was unhappy and my anxiety fed on the victim complex. I wrote back then too. I have a diary in the basement where i wrote that i hated myself so much and that I in a weird sadistic way I liked my hatred inside. I now know that my ego was so identified with a feeling of misunderstood and victim that i couldnt imagine myself without it. I couldn’t separate that feeling from my every thought almost so imagining a life without feeling like a victim was impossible. And the feeling of misunderstood made my ego feel important. This was the only way i knew how. I felt at least a bit important and not useless. True love to others felt too distant because you cant really love someone if you hate yourself.. i was so caught up in feeling sorry for myself i was really egoistic to be honest. And i think a lot of people are still in that dysfunctional loop. 

A few weeks ago i wrote about wanting to meditate and how i would document my thoughts after because it would be interesting to reflect on and make it more of a curious experiment. Ive done that a few times. Maybe six times. I will continue this and do a separate post on my experience. Until then 😀

Interacting with other people

Hi. Its been a few days (or weeks) I always want to write about what I feel is relevant in my life, I feel like that will give me the best insights, and at the moment its meeting new people. I recently started a new job, around two weeks ago. I work in a health store over the summer. My task is to greet the customers, give them a good experience and then either give them guidance or show them to whatever they are on a hunt for. Its really rewarding because its a lot of problemsolving and i get to practise what i know and have learned the past years. Most people that come in know what they want but some people are just lost. Its interesting though, how interactions with other people go. There is the small talk. The very brief exchange of phrases for the shallow relationships. Its almost like a dance. It’s understood, what the situation is. I say something, they say whats expected. The barrier. The authority. It feels unnatural. I feel fake. Because I feel like a phony. Im just little me, standing here and playing grown up. I cant say whatever I want. There is a script and rules to the situation. It’s a game of power. Even though its not that serious.. I don’t like that working too much in customer service makes you probably evolve to someone you´re not around other people. That’s why my goal is to work one to one. Be self-employed. Ive gone from call center jobs where EVERYTHING is scripted and forced, to sitting at a grocery store as a cashier to now, less interactions quantitively speaking, but still face to face encounters with people. It feels better, but still not quite right. Ive thought a lot about that, why I feel unnatural and fake. its all just a feeling I have. Or a belief. Working in sales and customer service doesn’t really go with the idea that I think of myself as shy. I limit myself there. It doesn’t go together with the idea of how ive been an majority of my life so this sales version of myself feels foreign. And I can fake it, but its not me, its like playing pretend. But since ive done it now for a few years its starting to feel a bit easier. Does that make it natural? Is it just something that becomes a part of myself as time goes on? Fake it until you make it sort of thing?

It’s a strange thing, because having social anxiety for a majority of my life has made me think that I am a person who is fearful of other people and am there for reserved socially until I have trust with the person and then I open up. That feels like me. That’s how I have evolved to be socially. But its not a trait, I have to remind myself. Its just a habit. Difference between trait and habit? I think one comes before the other. Maybe habits become a trait. A habit that repeats itself day after day. Year after year. Then you catch it, notice it and realize; it doesn’t serve me. Its not benefiting me. The opposite actually. Its limiting myself and my goals I now have. And, as youre unhappy with a trait then you have the power to break that habit. I can change whatever Im not happy with. I need to realize that. Im not a prisoner in my mind. I can actually change whatever the heck I want.

Anyway, the concept of conversation is so intriguing to me. To share your view of the world with anothers version of the world. Intersect those worlds. Expanding. I find people and connections so interesting. I want to understand people and learn about others and therefor myself. How we are all connected.. There was this one woman who was very reserved as she walked in to the store the other day. She was talking a bit to herself and getting things from shelves, knowing very well what she needed. Me, standing behind the counter, pushing down my ego at her dismissing my attempts at reaching out if she needed help. I take it personal, I always do, their response to me. I pick up immediately if they are friendly or not and it sets my mood even though i try to hide it. If they are talkative or if they dismiss my attempts. Im soooo desperate for outward approval, I know this, yet it is hard in a profession like customer service not to be. You need to give the customer a good impression, fish for their likes. Youre hired for literally getting their approval.. Yet, this woman, not wanting help kept walking around by herself.. she then asked me one small thing. I didn’t know the response and then she dismissed me again. Didn’t deem my presence to be of worth (sidenote;THIS is what my ego thought at the moment! Important! Hahah obviously its impossible for me to know what she actually thought) After she´d paid for her things and we´d engaged in some small talk I asked her one question to hopefully leave her with a good impression. She surprisingly took the bait and opened up and started talking about hundreds of things. She was a very interesting lady. She spoke about spirituality, meditation, how she worked with healing crystals and how she saw angels etc. We talked maybe for fifteen minutes (or more like, she talked haha) and as the conversation went by I chimed in to say something, wanting to give my input or share something from my life, she didn’t give it much energy. She said something very small, like a word or a hum, then continued on with something else. And, I noticed afterwards as I retold this story to my boyfriend that my desperate feelings of getting approval, especially from someone that doesn’t “care” steams from my daddy issues. It felt veeeeery similar to how I feel when im talking to him. I tell him something and he doesn’t even let me finish before asking a new question. He just asks something because he is supposed to as a dad – now he has done his part in acting interested. It makes me feel unimportant and even more desperate to get him to care, say something good or funny enough. I always thought of my dad as narcissistic, in a search for an explanation because my ego couldn’t possibly accept that my own dad doesn’t care for real about me, but it doesn’t really matter. I always felt that way concearning him. And this woman left me with that very same feeling. I also realized afterwards that maybe this woman wasn’t interested in my life, she was so fulfilled in hers that she doesn’t have interest in little me and my story. She only wanted to share her experience. And that’s not from some hateful place, its just, some people are like that. Either, they have difficulty connecting with other people or they don’t feel the need.

The thing was, from that experience with the scattered lady I noticed so much. That lady doesn’t owe me anything. Yes, its nice to be polite to strangers sure but im just a store clerk. She has her life and I have mine. She doesn’t owe me shit. Some people get more out of wordly exchanges and maybe that’s when someone is on someone elses level but this woman felt so “above” me, if I can phrase myself like that, on a spiritual level, that maybe she didn’t feel like my words gave her much. And that sort of stung at the moment but reflecting afterwards im like, huh. Im self-entilted. And lol that feels obvious but it’s a good reality check. People have their life and problems and no one is obliged to reciprocate to whatever you’re feeling. My feeling towards this lady was “wow, tell me your secrets” but her intention could have been “okay I need to stop by this store for a quick moment and get the things I want” This feels ridiculous now, writing about it. Hahhahaha ofcourse its like that. A stranger. But you get caught up in emotions and being entitled, feeling that things surround about you. It was just a good reminder that, hey, no one owes you anything. Because when you have a habit of needing to get everyone elses approval, its not something you always reflect on. That youre unimportant to other people. Naturally. You cant be of importance to everyone. And don’t get me wrong, the conversation we had (or she) was lovely in the end. She told me a lot of things that left me thinking but it just was onesided and the whole thing made me think about conversating.

I value conversation and connection with people so much. Also why I feel so fake when having small talk with customers. I don’t want to have conversations about the weather or the news. I want them to tell me their secrets. Their struggles. Stuff they don’t want to tell anyone. Like, why? Hahaha. Why on earth do I want that? I think, maybe if I get peoples trust I can trust them. I can be myself. If I can manipulate this random person to like me so they expose their real self maybe I can be myself. No games. And this, controlling and manipulating my surroundings to be myself is just.. sigh..

I need trust in myself. If I have that, nothing else matters I wont feel desperate and look for it outwards. I have it inside myself. Easier said then done though.. (ofcourse, connecting with other people will still always be really important to me, I crave to evolve and connect with others, but maybe it wont be in the same – chasing everyone elses approval type of way) It’s a working process. My relationship to myself is definitely improving this year and that’s more than I can say for past years. Past years been a different focus, so I think im on my way to really getting to know myself and learning to have my back. Its always good for me to reflect on my meeting with people and learn from it. ❤

Stress vs patience

Feeling a bit of stress in everyday life is common. Its standard it seems. I don’t want it to be. I’ve tasted what its like to live without it and I now crave it.

I think the first thing that made me notice how generally stressed I was about time was my now boyfriend. He is calm and dislikes stress to a degree that I never seen before. He rather prioritize away things he has to do so he can do whatever he does calmly and controlled instead of striving to be productive. It was so strange to me. At first it bugged me. I thought “oh my god, this guy is sooooo slow” It became a joke that I was quick and he was slow. We teased each other. And sometimes I would notice the feeling of annoyance toward his approach and he would point it out. Say things like, we don’t have to hurry, we´re not in a rush. It took a while until I got used to it and then it took some more until I started to like it. He has since we started dating completely shifted my idea about time and productivity (and this is without really trying to explain to me his philosophy) I realized at first how quickly I do things. I do them fast and I had pride in it. I was productive. I got things done. I stressed for example when I cook. I multitask, cutting vegetables and checking the rice while taking time etc. hurry to be done. I also do things quickly when I do chores or something I don’t enjoy. I noticed how quickly I did exercises at the gym. Just to get things over with so I could move on to the next. Its not really weird when you think about it that you get the feeling of emptiness if youre never there, always just ticking off boxes. Instead, doing things with intent and a different mindset; not to just get it over with. If I get back in the habit of hurrying he will point out to me that we´re not in a rush. This is still a bit annoying but behind the moody ego I am grateful (and he knows this❤️)

So the first thing that happened was that I noticed how much I actually hurry. I hadn’t questioned it before. It wasn’t a thing in my head that I thought that I did things quickly. I knew that I was productive and didn’t relax often but the idea of being generally stressed wasn’t planted in my head. So I started to realize that maybe I am always in a hurry, much more than I had understood (And maybe this is why Ive always been so drawn to the relaxation part of mindfulness and spirituality..) When I went back home to visit my family I would notice how my mother did exactly the same hurried things and more and i realize I got it from my upbringing. When I socialized with people I would realize most people around me dont question it either. It just wasn’t a thing I had thought about much or even questioned really. This wasn’t a one-time realization like I make it sound, this took some time as he and I dated, realizing more and more that being inpatient is a pattern I have. I always knew I was impatient as a child. Mom would often mention it when telling stories of me as a kid. I also got told I did things haphazardly. I made a half ass attempt at things. I didn’t understand nor had the concept that things take time and you need to do it carefully for good results. anyway! No use of looking at reasons why at this point. I just get stuck –

So then I started to question why I hurry so much. Like, not why do I act this way but on a deeper level, what am I trying to achieve? I think its two things: Habit of always looking ahead for something that will fulfill me. When I have done this and this I will be happy. Solution? Being present.

Other reason I think is that im not used to it – I can’t be still because boredom/emptiness scares me. I don’t know how to act or deal with it. Its uncomfortable and new.

Im getting used to this though, more and more. Little things; like I try to start the day off slow. Doing yoga or meditation or taking a walk. I do things slower. Remind myself to slow down. Remind myself why I do this or that thing (is it just to get it over with or why am I doing x?) Usually when I do the action slower the result is always better anyway so theres a lot of benefits of slowing down; not just enjoying the process. An example could be putting on make up everyday. Instead of doing it in a rush I try to do it slower and the result comes out, naturally, more precise because the hand movements are more controlled and then I feel better for that day. I know this and try to implement it more and more. I want it to come automatically but it’s a process.. I know thiiiis.

How do I make myself less stressed and hurried overall? Work on patience.

Living in the van for some months indirectly makes me practice my patience. Everything takes longer and everything is simpler. I don’t take things for granted which makes me also appreciate the thing more. Electricity for example. We have one outlet which is connected to a solar panel. We plan when to charge something and use up the battery fully before charging again. We have a laptop, two phones, two wireless headphones and a stereo that we rotate to charge. The battery is great and we can often charge most things that we need on a sunny day but the supply is limited, which makes us not take it for granted. Lovely thing. Even though it can be comfortable to have an apartment full of outlets, not giving it a second thought. The other benefits out way!

Patience is interesting. Interesting concept. When I look at different definitions of the word they often describe it as a quality that is despite this and that, for example; “Steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity.” “Bearing pains or trails calmly under provocation or strain.” Maybe it can only be present when something is challenged. And after this it becomes second nature as it develops into a calmness, an unshaken serenity.. hmm..

So, patience is a must it seems. A must to tackle unwanted stress and impatience which often causes that stress. Patience for everyday activities and patience with my personal growth. Patience with people and patience with the future. Patieeeeence.

And how.. just remembering. Having someone point it out definitely helps. Making yourself do things that take longer time deliberately in order to practice patience is wonderful. Meditation is one thing. Taking a walk is one. Painting in one of those adult coloring books where you just color very detailed black and white drawings is also a great one. Ive done that a few times. Its good to be uncomfortable with time I think. Work on your relationship to time. Challenge it. Because when you break it down; look stress/impatience in the eye, and eventually become a master of your own stress instead of enslaved by it that’s when you can handle pressure.

Comparing

Comparing ourselves is human, right? Its part of our survival instinct. We judge people we see on the street as a threat or not. The fact is though, we dont live in a djungel. Threats arent around every corner. Its gone too far and we judge people unconsciously all the time. So much so that it affects our first impressions and our ongoing interactions. Its hindering us from connecting on a deeper level and it affects our self-worth. It becomes toxic. So why do we do it?

Somewhere were comparing happens often for me is comparing myself to other girls. When I see an attractive girl on social media I often find myself, like a reflex, trying to find a flaw. Thinking “oh, shes not THAT attractive” or “she has a bad personality” It’s AWFUL. I load this habit. BUT! Exucses excuses but women are brought up to be in competition with each other. That’s a fact. I think we´ve all done it. Its our responsibility though, to break that habit. Because we DON’T have to behave that way. Its awful and its one of the reasons I find it hard to connect with other girls. Theres this distance from both sides. Not always, ofcourse, but it happens. And there is this new trend of uplifting each other and girls “run the world” and so on and that is great but its too broad. I think we need to look at our everyday thoughts and interaction. Catch ourselves when the thoughts enter. I know social media has made girls more insecure then ever. Girls use filters to heighten their appearance and post the best side of themselves and we see that and think “why is my skin not that clear?” or “why is my body not as slim?” People who are attractive get loooooads of followers and its not just from people who find them attractive but girls that idolize them. And people who hate-follow because they are envious. CATCH THE THOUGHTS AND QUESTION THEM – first step. Maybe if that feels too big of a task stop following people that don’t serve you or even distance yourself from social media for a while. Im doing it. It feels great.

In the book “the courage to be disliked” they speak about inferiority and superiority complex which I think is relevant here.

The book says that the feeling inferiority is not bad per se since it’s a driving force for most people to evolve as people but the line, when it becomes a complex, is were inferiority becomes an excuse. They give an example in the book of a person thinking that they are not well educated so they have to try harder than anyone else which, can lead to motivation but when the person thinks “im not educated, so I cant succeed” When the logic of A (the situation) makes B (goal/outcome) not possible. That is an inferiority complex. (This is a pretty good thing to ask yourself, am I doing that? Excuses often equals lying to oneself. Its not fun to confront yourself, its uncomfortable, but its effective.) When the inferiority no longer serves you as a motivation force, when it becomes a hinderance, that’s when it’s a complex. I do this. I limit myself in lots of aspects in my life. With my future career and youtube – the first two things that came in mind. I still have a little hope though, so I push myself and don’t let the excuses overpower too much. I do little steps that scare me like purchasing an expensive camera (in hope of committing) and looking into education to become a zen coach. I try to do things that are uncomfortable. But the thought of “Im too timid and shy (A) so people wont take me seriously (B)” is a reoccurring underlying belief I have. Instead, a thought could be “im timid and shy and have become less with time, hence there is opportunity for growth” Or “Im timid and shy so I have a different perspective than the outgoing ideal zen coach I imagine would have” For the second dilemma; starting youtube, I tell myself “im too awkward and English is not my first language (A) so I cant make videos (B)” when I could think “im awkward and English is not my first language so I should practice until it becomes more natural” I see the differences where I can reedit my thoughts about the goals. I just need to make the choices deliberately. They wont come natural when I have thought a certain way for years. I need reminders.

Both situations ive created an ideal persona who can accomplish the goals and since im not there yet it feels foreign to me. I feel fake and like im not good enough. I see people doing what I want to do and its hard not to feel a sting of jealousy. I despise that as well. The comparison. Because I want to be able to feel 100% happiness for anyone’s success. At the moment, im there that I catch myself and reedit my thoughts when jealousy comes. Breaking those old negative patterns.. they don’t serve anyone except a hurt insecure ego. And I don’t want to feed that hurt ego. Let it starve!!

Another term in “the courage to be disliked” is superiority complex. Its when the inferiority complex develops into another mental state. In the book they explain it:

“One is suffering from strong feelings of inferiority and on top of that one doesn’t have the courage to compensate through healthy modes of striving and growth. One cant tolerate the inferiority complex or thinking, A is the situation so B cannot be done. One cant accept ones incapable self. The person thinks of trying to compensate in the same other fashion and looks for an easier way out. Its to act as if one is superior and to indulge in a fabricated feeling of superiority.”

They explain it as the person is giving the I a authority, for example exaggerating and misrepresenting ones work experience. Fashion is also discussed in the book; people who only wear flashy brands and diamonds and pearls. The I is superior by linking it to authority. This is also a way of dealing with the inferiority feeling. One who brags does not have confidence in themselves. The feeling of needing to flaunt one’s superiority. There is fear that if one doesn’t do that no one will accept who they truly are.

An interesting thing in the book for me was that they also discuss how this can play out in people who “brag” about their own misfortune. Those people make themselves feel “special” because of their experience of misfortune and that leads to putting themselves above others (victim mentality?) This hit home for me. I think I might be guilty of that. I feel like I identify so strongly with my past that I feel like Im special. Its hard to not identify with the past when its what shaped you. Its also what explains why I am where I am today. When speaking to someone new about what I want to do with my life I often find myself feeling that feeling of “calling” when I tell them about my history. BUT. Its important to notice this and not put emphasis on the feeling of needing to feel chosen. Fine, I can do good things in the world but Im not destined to do something special. That is a lot of pressure to put on oneself but its easy to have that wish. I need to let that go. That hope/dream only developed because I wanted a purpose. Feeling lost in the world, my lacking ego romanticized a fantasy where I was the chosen one. And no, not like a movie where someone saves the world but in a sense that I need to do something big. In my fantasy as a teenager I envisioned it all. When I reach a certain level of things I wanted to do I would be happy. Total denial of reality.

I felt like I needed to be a persona who changed lives if that’s with life coaching, meal planning, youtube, etc I didn’t know but I knew I wanted it. I needed the acceptance and the recognition. Now, I know that chasing things like that only leads to more chasing. The point, I feel like, now is connection with other people. Influencing others to be happy and content. There is nothing more important than that. And im doing it now. Because there isn’t anything to achieve. I have a great boyfriend. The best mom and brother and people around me. I influence people around me just by living by my own truth. There is nothing to accomplish more than expanding as a person and loving people around me unconditionally. Experiencing life.

So, this post was all over the place haha. But also, an important reminder. I can write more on girls comparing themselves, appearances and body acceptance etc and I will in the future. There is also a good portion of comparing yourself in the book; How you should accept the cards your dealt with and its useless to compare yourself with another person. Beauty is subjective. More on that to come.

Being myself and not feeling fake around others

This is the goal for me. I want to feel comfortable enough around people that I can act like myself without being on guard as if people around me want to harm and hurt me. I think its very common to feel like you are playing a role in everyday life. I don’t want it to be like that. I want to be myself and be okay if someone dislikes me and deems me weird. I want to be able to say what I want and not think before if it’s the “right” thing to say. Its exhausting trying to gauge what I think the other person wants to hear. So, to be myself and express my personality and creativity with fearlessness. Its all I want. So why don’t I? how can I not fear the feeling a dirty look makes me feel. If I sit with this for a second I naturally think that working on a inner peace inside myself and relying on that in the world would help. I once heard someone compare meditation to maintenance on a gate to our own secret and hidden garden. If we constantly maintain that gate so it opens easily we can access that inner calm whenever. If someone gives you a funny look as you say something that doesn’t land maybe having a calmness inside yourself for the most time of the day will make that moment not feel as hauntingly scary. As a teenager I replayed the awkward and embarrassing moments in my head to torture myself. Why? Maybe it was a defense mechanism. I thought if I replayed it I would figure out why and how and prevention it from happening again (but I cant control the people and the enviroment around me so it leads to nothing but control issues) It made those moments so much more intense. The feelings from a brief interaction lived on in my head for weeks. It seems obvious when I write this that I still feel that way to some degree now. I never worked on this directly. Its also one of those things that I just suppressed with time and by doing more things in the real world compared to my few interactions with people in my teenage years those moments become less powerful but they are still there. I don’t replay the incidents over and over in my head because I have more things going on now so I don’t have as much time to give them power but they still exist. The want to control the situation so i wont get hurt. Defense mechanism..

So, meditating can help create inner calm that I can fall back on? If I have my own back and can give myself this warm and calm metaphoric embrace then maybe the “threat” out there in the world wont feel as bad. I need to be there for myself. That’s one step I could do.

Also, reflecting if something happens and question it. Was it really that bad? Why was it bad? Why does this bother me?

Two steps that seem easy but if they were easy I wouldn’t have a problem. Its always consciousness first to even start to question my reactive mind then I can infiltrate these edited reactions.

Also, I need to really prioritize meditation. I don’t at the moment, and I know I need to. How can I? why does it hit a brick wall there? I explored this a bit in the zen coaching I wrote about. What I realized then was my fear of failure because of the spiritual ego. My expectation are too high. I feel impatient and like a failure when I have trouble controlling my overthinking. But I know that if I practice on it, it will become better. Its silly how if we don’t question something and say it out loud or write it its so easy to lie to yourself. FIRST STEP HERE – acknowledgement. This is what I think; I will fail if I try to meditate so I don’t. But no, its illogical. You cant fail at something that is just sitting down in quiet. You fail when you have a goal and that goal is too big. Screw the goal. Just SIT DOWN.. And allow … ❤

A thought that came now when I reread what I wrote was that I will sit down a few times to meditate and after I will document the thoughts and feelings during the process. After I have a few pages I will summarize it and write it here. See what I come up with. That feels fun 😊 And reasonable. It also makes the act of meditation about exploration again, with curiosity. And I think that’s what meditation should be about. Maybe this will be good 😀 high hopes!

The spirituial ego and resistance to overthinking

Last week I started the process of zen coaching again. I realized I needed guidance again after meeting this girl when we were out with the van. She started talking to us as we walked by and I was mesmerized by her openness and energy. It reminded me of my goal. I also want to be as open and loving. I have since been in contact with her and she was the one that inspired me to take up zen coaching again AND blogging since she had a blog (I am really starting to understand this concept of the universe gives you what you need and everything that happens has a meaning. Beautiful!) In her blog she wrote three years ago about working with a teacher to overcome her limitations and fear. It stood out to me as I realized that is the step I need to take. Working with fear. I still feel fear of other people. I feel fear of people judging me and not liking me. I feel fear of being rejected. Fear of meanness. Fear of people making me feel like a weirdo. Not as much as before but it’s still there. All of this is suppressed from social anxiety and handled but it is still underlying. I haven’t reflected and understood it this clearly before. The thought of how fear of other people still limit me came up when I was thinking about what fear I wanted to bring up and work on first in zen coaching. I realized what hinders me in life the most is the limitation I feel around other people. If the problem didn’t exist I wouldn’t be so stressed out while being in the world. With a goal of being zen coach myself later in life and working with others I need to face this. So, back to starting zen coaching again I reached out to a teacher in my city and made plans to meet. It was good. It was emotional as always. I cried and poured my heart out.

Some key points I gathered from the one hour with her was:

  • I’ve developed a resistance to overthinking and hence gotten a spiritual ego. I think this developed from reading so many books and consuming so much content about being in the now that I made it a thing. I know it’s that. It has become thing and a concept I’m trying to grasp. Classic! (here’s a link to an explanation of the spiritual ego by a guy i follow: https://youtu.be/-Uqpq2_13nk)
  • Practice meditation will give me patience for the overthinking dilemma! (important one!)
  • I need to acknowledge the resistance and let it be there. Resisting the resistance is just a negative cycle that will never stop. Never-ending loop..
  • I have too high standards on what meditation should be like. I went to a silent retreat (Vipassana) for ten days two years ago where the take home message was meditation two hours a day will lead to enlightenment – it didn’t help my relationship to the practice. Meditating has become a task and the lightheartedness and curiosity to explore oneself isn’t there. The zen coach I worked with suggested I sit down and just ask myself “what is going on inside of me right now?” when I feel disconnected. Maybe that is enough to land in the body and moment and not feel like my mind is all over the place.

I feel like these thoughts and the meeting really gave me something. I hadn’t made this connection as clearly before, that the spiritual ego had that big of a role in my life. As Allan watts says; the spiritual ego is just the ego in disguise. I need to acknowledge that. And accept it. I need to sit with the idea that maybe thinking so much isn’t the worst thing? I can learn to guide it so it doesn’t become as dysfunctional but to have the expectation that I can erase ever overthinking all together is unrealistic.

So it always comes back to the self-compassion. IT TAKES TIME. IT´S A PROCESS.

I’m starting this zen coaching journey again and it feels good. I am more and more comfortable in myself and i’m realizing what really matters in life (for myself) and I have a long life left to discover things. It feels good. Life is good. I’m on the right track 😊 ❤

 

Caring about what other people think

Social anxiety and carefreeness are polar opposites. With anxiety there is a compulsive want to control your surrounding and the people around you. It becomes sickeningly the main focus in the mind and everything is about other peoples perception (and here it is important to know that It’s always the perception you project. It’s impossible to know..) I remember being scared of getting on the bus because I didn’t want to make a mistake in front of a crowd and I didn’t want to met other peoples eyes when I found a seat. If someone got on the bus and sat beside me I thought typical and worried in my mind and dreaded when I needed to get off. The whole bus ride would be filled with anxiety and worry about what I thought other people thought. Imagine that worrying energy every time you are around people? It’s disabling.

As a teenager your problems seem like the end of the world; one doesn’t have perspective and doesn’t know it. The most important thing is fitting in and being popular. I’ve always heard you care less with age. I think that is true.. Naturally one figures life out a bit more and gets to know oneself. I know I’ve done that. Still, it’s not enough to be more comfortable in my skin. I used to HATE myself. Load myself. Now, I’m okay. I still have negative thought of myself every now and then but it’s better. But I want to love myself. I don’t know how. Having a supportive and adoring boyfriend helps.

There are a few places in my everyday life that I notice that I still care a lot about what other people think. Those areas are:

  • Plans for the future; I unconsciously take into consideration what people will think if I do this and that. I think of my achievements in term of what people will think. Why? The ego..
  • My image; I catch myself feeling a sense of accomplishment when someone says something about me that I overhear that correlates with how I want to be seen. The ego man..
  • When me and the boyfriend are in the van and people look curiously in on our life. I get agitated and a bit annoyed. Why? I don’t like to be judged because I can’t control what they think.
  • When I practice on filming myself for youtube. I get so nervous when thinking that my neighbours hear me and judge me. Why? Again, I don’t like to be judged because I can’t control what they think.

SO! When it comes down to it, it’s the ego and the control. THEY MAKE ME CARE – I wrote that right as I thought it and then wanted to correct it because I felt that I’m trying to blame it on something else. BUT that’s the truth. That’s how I think. Maybe that’s what I do and it’s meaningful to acknowledge that. I don’t take responsibility in this sense. How can I take responsibility? Accept the problem and that I let it happen. First step: consciousness when it happens. Second: question it. Is it really logical to react this way? Can I change my reaction? Third: ? not there yet. Maybe I’ll get there… another thing I wrote automatically then wanted to correct to: I’ll get there. That maybe. Why do I feel like I won’t accomplish ego death? Absurd. Not correct. Need to start having hope for myself and on my ability. As always: have self-compassion and patience ❤

A suggestion is to read “The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga” on this. It’s a reaaaallly good book that is written like a dialogue between a filosofer and a student. It’s a good one. I loved it and really want to read it again. It’s on my to do list. Maybe I’ll read it soon and give a summary and discuss my thoughts on it.

Thanks for now. Ttyl 😊

Self-improvement

Thought of the day – self-improvement;

A common theme in my life has been self-improvement. I always strived to be a better version of myself because I don’t want to settle. That’s what I’ve told myself all my life. I’m afraid of not evolving and staying stagnant. But where does the line between not wanting to settle and not accepting who I am cross? The line seems very thin.

I have gone through different areas I didn’t like about myself in my life and worked on them. I had a binge eating disorder and instead of solving that I “lifehacked” myself out of it and became a high carb vegan = I am not overweight anymore. I worked on my discipline when it comes to working out and now I have it under control = I work out regularly, maybe five times a week and my main motivation is the feeling afterwards but it’s also fuelled by self-taunting. It sounds dark but it’s not really. I just know if I don’t, I get feelings of guilt. It’s not the most healthy way to think but It works. Running though, I do because I love the feeling. But going to the gym regularly that is mainly out of guilt. There are also certain bieffects from working out that motivate me. Superficial reasons motivate me, like wanting to be fit for a number of reasons. The beauty standard of womens body being slim, for my future business, for my body dysmorphia and for my self-confidence/worth. Etc.

Personality wise I worked on my introverted side. I hated the shy side of myself and wanted to be extroverted and liked by all because that’s what I thought I needed to be in order to receive love from other people. That thought has always been in the back of my mind and since growing older (and a tad bit wiser) I have gone from feeling resentment to my shyness to less and less. If I think about that today I can still feel that the longing is still there. But the longing i can pinpoint more clearly now. It’s not that I want to be extroverted and loud but it is more the feeling of freedom and not caring what people think. I think that is always what I wanted and still want but couldn’t put my finger on. I just knew I liked people who where themselves unapologetically and I thought I needed to copy that. I felt fascination towards someones personality and analyzed why. What did they have that i lacked? I think i subconciously thought if i knew everything they did and why they did it I could get myself to act like them. But I couldn’t, because it wasn’t me. It wasn’t genuine. But the dislike of being quiet and shy drove me to push myself to do things and move to different places. And for that, I am grateful.

These different changes ive done in my life felt like a way to work around the problems, even though semi-effective, they didn’t solve the issues.

The path of self-improvement is not a straight line. It’s easy to get caught in the idea that you need to do one thing then your problems will be fixed. That’s also the way consumerism work. Society brain washes us with marketing and it’s not odd that we feel that way. One more beauty product and then you will have that glass skin that will make you look young and fresh and boys will love you, girls will wanna be you. Buy a lash serum and you will have long lashes and people will adore you Etc. That’s no way to live your life. Always striving to get something, attain something, and then what. You will look outward again. And look at make up instead. Spend more money. Spend more time on bullshit. I have done that, it doesn’t work. It is useless and shallow and leads to nowhere. And on top of that, it fuels self-denial. You need something more then you will be enough. BULLSHIT. It’s a toxic negative cycle that makes us unhappy. Don’t buy in to it (literally) But that is a different topic all together. Back to the self-improvement though; the concept of self-help books have similarities with consumerism. Authors have a theory about how to be happy and they want to put it onto paper. How can they sell you on a lifetime of knowledge that they themselves have experienced, felt deep within, discovered different things and met different people at the right time for them, when they were ready, to expand as people. But now they are trying to bottle that up and sell a magic recipe so you don’t have to do the “work”. It doesn’t work that way I realized, ten years later. Don’t get me wrong, self-help books have given me a lot! But seeing the distinction between “having hope that this book/concept will fix all my problems” and “this is someone elses journey and you need to take from it what fits in your life right now” is important. There are so many times where I read a book in a few days and gotten so excited because I felt like “wow, this is it!” and a few days later I’m back to my normal patterns and relatively quickly I forgotten about it. Then in a few weeks I reach for a different book and a different approach from a new person. These books have given me a consciousness of why I react or do a certain thing which expands my mind, and that Is always the first step to break a negative pattern. But it’s not a quick fix.

So, reading books on how to improve different areas in your life should, in my opinion, be looked at with curiosity! I have a few things I’ve discovered.

My tips for how to read self-help books:

  • Make a list of the things you would like to improve about yourself. Take a moment – Look at them a day later and break it down, what is really the core issue here? Is it lack of self-love or is it lack of motivation? Is it that you know you need to work on your self-compassion then look at different books in that area. There are so many books and knowing what you keep coming back to as a reoccurring issue then maybe address that first? For me: My main issues seem to be not feeling good enough and lack of self-compassion.
  • Remembering that changing your way of thinking is like a muscle you work out at the gym. You need to be at it or else the muscle weakens.. I read that somewhere and it’s so true. If you thought a certain way for x number of years, one book that takes you say maybe a week to read won’t change your way of thinking. That feel obvious when you read it like that but it’s good to remind ourselves. We need to keep at it. Keep being motivated to work on ourselves. For me: It comes in waves. Sometimes I have weeks where I don’t read any books or do any work on myself then it comes a point where I realize I have to. I need it. I always come back. And thats not just reading – it can be any relaxing mindful practice, like yoga or meditation for example
  • Read a book slowly and really think about the words. What do they really mean? It’s not a race. If you catch yourself speed-reading ask yourself why am I really reading this? What’s the purpose? And sit with that for a second. Be honest with yourself. Maybe questioning your true motivation for reading will help steer the motivation For me: I have had many of these thought when I read on autopilot and everytime I realize I try to attain something. It’s good to remind yourself.
  • Read a chapter and write down notes on what stood out to you. Take a pause after the chapter and let that be it. Read back your notes on different occasions. For me: I try to do this often. Me and a friend have a book club were we read a book and talk about it every other week. We take notes as we read if something stood out to us then we discuss the content with each other. It’ a great way to digest what the book is actually trying to say and it’s also a good way to connect with a friend.
  • Reread the book. If it’s a book I really liked I will reread it in a few months time. Helps process the information better and repetition is key. For me: I have reread a few books but still have a lot I want to reread. So many books so little time 😉

Books are great to stimulate thoughts and get a reality check. It offers insight into yourself and a better understanding. Understanding is important to strengthen the relationship you have with yourself but understanding life is also not the most important thing. Too much in your head is not good. We need to live life too; in order to feel a connection to earth and to other living beings. Connection is love and humans thrieve on love. We are social animals.

THREE KEY POINTS: 1. question the area you don’t like and you want to improve – why do you want to change? For what reason? What would happen if this changed?

2. Remind yourself that you are not trying to attain something. Selfimprovement should be called and thought of as self-curiousity 😀

3. not taking life too seriously!! The journey is the destination ❤

In conclusion, with self-improvement (self-curiousity) have patients with yourself and cut yourself some slack ❤