Why are you afraid?

Imitation = Fear

Imitation is an expression of fear, because we imitate to blend in, to be accepted by society, and for others to notice that we fit in and that we belong. We imitate because we’re afraid of being rejected should we ever reveal our truest selves.

Many of us, predominately in the West I feel, are searching for that sense of belonging from a very early age. Think about how a toddler behaves, they walk around confidently, wearing the rawest version of themselves. Forever curious, they’re always in search of answers. Although it may not last too long, toddlers are also very compassionate, incredibly loving and confidently expressive.

I think as conscious awareness develops, there comes a time when we become curious about ourselves and our place in this world, and I think it’s at this crucial point when fear of expression starts to develop. It’s like we spend most of our lives slowly breaking free from a cocoon and once free, we’re very quickly misguided.

As we develop some independence we turn to the world around us for guidance on this human experience. However, the world is still very much an unequal place and as we receive its messages, predominantly through mass media, the majority of us feel underrepresented. When we do not see ourselves being represented, we quickly learn to feel that this is a world in which we do not belong, so what do we do? We imitate.

We buy into popular trends, we follow false idols, and we mimic those who are presented as most-self-actualized. We often do this so blindly that it becomes normal, until the distance between who we really are and who we’ve presented ourselves to be is so wide, that we become afraid to face the truth, and/or unsure of it.

It develops an anxiety of sorts, an uncertainty about the future and thus the quest for happiness continues to be a trivial pursuit. We feed fear each time we deny ourselves the opportunity to be liberated.

What are you afraid of?

I suppose we can measure fear by how much of our lives we spend imitating others. The world accepting us for how well we imitate it, is not the world accepting us. We’re merely helping the powers at be, reinforce their egos. If we want to be represented then we must show the world who it is that needs representation. However, chances are we’re all one of a kind and when we accept this we probably won’t care for representation, because instead we’ll be seeking only inspiration.

Remember the key to fulfillment, in any aspect of life, is a strong and affirmed identity.

Be you. Be inspired. Be Inspiring.

Read the full post here.

5 Ways to Harness the Power of Negative Emotion

depression

Negative emotions tend to make us feel powerless, but the powerful effect of negativity can be quite useful. Negative emotions cloud our identities and restrict us from building fulfilling lives. The longer we allow negative emotions to linger, our thoughts turn destructive and we begin losing hope of ever feeling truly happy/happy again.

Negative emotions are always a burden and coping with them is certainly exhausting; maintaining a positive presence is difficult to upkeep, especially when we feel like we’re crippling inside. However, with a little guidance and support, we can channel that negative energy into something useful.

I’ve found that negative energy can be an opportunity to increase self-awareness. Think of how we feel when we’re physically hurt, the pain makes us aware of the wound so that we can heal it. Is it so naive to think that our negative emotions work in a similar way?

  1. An Indication to Evaluate and Reflect on Behavior.

We can get so wrapped up in negative thought that it’s easy to overlook this key indication: to wear our objective lenses and pay attention to the way we’re living out our lives. We must acknowledge our feelings first, assess negative behaviors and then investigate how we arrived at such a burden, to understand the triggers and piques.

We should become aware of indulging activities that leave us feeling regretful and shameful, such as: overeating or loss of appetite, short tempers or feelings of emptiness, frivolous sexual pursuits or lack of sexual desire and self-loathing and obsessively comparing ourselves to others’. These are just a handful of examples that feed negative emotions, but we must become aware of behaviors that are deceitfully healing, because they actually deepen the wound.

  1. Realize That Life Is Directed by A Series of Choices.

I believe that every single one of us has an opportunity to achieve great things. What’s standing between us and a great destiny, is a series of choices. Wherever or whenever we feel like we don’t have a choice, know that it’s down to a negative perception of reality; fear and a lack of understanding is all that keeps us from making the choices we really want to make.

We can choose to go to the same boring job everyday, or we can choose to invest any free moment looking for new opportunities. We can choose to indulge negative behaviors, or realize that we can employ positive ones. We can also choose to be happy, if we choose to deal with negativity head on.

  1. Embrace The Opportunity for Change.

Prolonged negativity should act as a catalyst for change. When we’re feeling like we’re ‘stuck-in-a-rut’, disconnected from life and/or living complacently, it’s time for change. What’s the point in perpetuating a life that’s negative, when we have the power to change it?  We just need to remember that change is a process. Often what deters us is the uncertainty, but when we break down change into manageable steps, anything becomes completely doable.

When we’re feeling negative we get frustrated and when we feel frustrated, we become disheartened and impatient. It’s probably why many of us seek out ‘quick-fixes’ to cope with negative emotion. If we become more aware of the changes we need to make and take the first step towards directing change, even if it’s just research to begin with, we counteract and overcome negative emotion with positive behavior.

  1. Identify and Let Go of Any Enablers.

When a person is given a chance to be honest, their identity shines through. When we begin to understand one another, we notice how special and unique each of us truly are and we can help each other overcome our obstacles. How many people in our lives allow us to shine? How many of them can we be truly honest and vulnerable with, without fear nor judgement? I evaluate the people around me by this philosophy. We shouldn’t need to be anyone else other than who we are and if there are people around us that restrict this birthright, then we must rethink some of these relationships.

Furthermore, our identities need to shine in order to learn and grow. If we have people around us that restrict our identities, then it only reinforces the message that we’re not good enough, not worthy enough or perhaps that there is something wrong with us. Honest relationships are crucial to personal development. I’ve personally found by being honest myself, I’m also creating an opportunity for others to open up and be honest themselves too. Slowly but surely if we all adopt this same philosophy, we can help each other get through life. We can nurture an environment that’s safe enough to be vulnerable in and together, we can grow and prosper. We must learn to let go of dishonest relationships and embrace those who are accepting of others.

  1. When All Else Fails, Take Some Time Away and Go Alone.

Nothing works better than entering a new and unfamiliar environment alone and realize how many challenges we can face and overcome. I believe it’s why many of us find travel so liberating and probably why many people find India in particular, so life changing. If our physical senses are overrun by overwhelmingly new sensations, what energy do we have left to upkeep a negative attitude? At some point that survival instinct kicks in as we’re forced to overcome one hurdle after another and we have no other choice but to trust ourselves. A change of scene almost forces us to look objectively into our lives and highlight the negative aspects of them.

Having some alone time allows us to honestly connect with the way we truly feel, as opposed to rationalizing our negative emotions to coexist with current ideologies we feel entangled in. Going away to a foreign place alone, is like embarking on a pilgrimage to self-realization; to realize that we all have purpose and that we’re capable of overcoming anything.

Meditation, what a trip!

Meditation

I’ve been meditating on and off for many months now and I’ve recently become more disciplined. I’ve been dedicated every day for the last two months and I’m noticing an increased sense of peace of mind and I’m finding it easier to maintain a positive mindset and focus.

I feel that I enter a semi-conscious state when I meditate, a place where extreme reality meets extreme wonder. My troubles and difficulties dance with my hopes and dreams, until the two realities co-exist and become one, which I define as truth. When I arrive at this truth, balance and serenity is achieved, relinquishing fear and doubt. Meditation allows me to pick myself up and confidently continue work towards my aspirations.

It sounds beautiful and poetic ‘n all, but I’m still eager to experience this “awakening” that I keep hearing about. However, I think last night I came incredibly close to experiencing something I can only describe as sensational.

Last night I prepared as normal: my clothes were warm and loose, I sat crossed legged and began breathing deeply, in and out. With the amount of practise, I’ve gotten closer to perfecting a technique that settles my mind quickly; I tend to focus on the sound of my breath.

After the serene dance between two realities, I experienced something very different and I couldn’t feel my body. It didn’t feel like I had lost the sense to touch, it was more like that feeling you get when you hold your hands really close together, without them actually touching. Maybe it was brought on by sitting crossed legged for such a long time, but it wasn’t a numbness, nor did I feel the tingling of pins and needles. It was very bizarre.

I wouldn’t call it an out-of-body experience, I’m still skeptical of that, but I did sense that my mind was lost and trying to navigate itself somewhere. I felt as if a veil or layer of something had been dropped and it caused my physical senses to weaken and my thoughts to escape rather than silence.

Was I experiencing awe?

A moment frozen in time?

Was I awake in my sleep?

I had no idea, but I reckon it could’ve been an experience of complete and genuine detachment. It felt like I had officially let go of something, more accurately, I felt I let go of everything and that I had finally accepted some sort of peace. Needless to say it was comforting yet peculiar.

When I awoke, I awoke with an incredible awareness of consciousness. I seemed to magnetically re-attach to everything I had let go of: the fear, the hope, the good, the bad, the sadness and joy…I felt like I was a giant electro-magnet surrounded by an assortment of metals, which had been switched back on.

I’m still unsure of what this all means, but it’s definitely contributing to the case for meditation and its role in awareness and positive impacts to mindset. It’s a personal, self-driven influence over your own identity, it’s taught me more about myself and it’s helping me better understand my place.

I highly recommend it to you all.

Image Credit: digitalbob8

VanCity

How to Reduce Anxiety and Ease the Pressure of Making Choices

Connecting two worlds

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in a shallow sea just as the sun is about to set and the tide about to rise. Although I may feel content and happy where I am, I’m merely moments away from a bad situation and if I don’t do something soon, I’ll be stuck here wishing I had made the choice to move sooner.

When we feel content and safe in a situation, it’s easy to overlook our pursuit for fulfillment. We begin to struggle with the choices we need to and/or want to make, that progress our lives towards betterment and actualization. This complacency feeds anxiety.

The longer we do hold onto a comfortable situation, the closer we become to losing sight of who we truly are and what we truly want. We can lose sight of our aspirations and motivations, as our complacent ways consume and become our identity.

Our true desires eventually catch up to us, for complacency can only repress our inner intentions for so long. There’s no running away from who we truly are and what we truly want from life, as it only takes a tiny spark of inspiration to reignite our true identities. And when we are reminded of who we actually are and what we actually want from life, we’re confronted with many choices that cause anxiety.

I’m working with several clients that are realizing this burden of complacency in life and are now facing a great deal of anxiety, because they’re facing the “pressures of freedom of choice.”

A wise connection of mine known as ‘Dilly Dave, recently published a video on anxiety and he describes it very well. He talks about how we need to take action in order to limit worry and overcome “the dizziness, of freedom of choice.” I think it’s a compelling video that sums up anxiety and worry brilliantly, check it out below:

To ease this pressure, I want to share something we all already know but easily forget, it’s the importance of engaging in trial and error.

I came to this re-realization when I began delving into both spiritual and scientific practices that help people reduce anxiety. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge impact on my life since adopting yoga and meditation, but what really intrigued me was how these practices actually developed.

Breakthroughs and discoveries in both Science and Spirituality are the result of trial and error, and I hadn’t noticed this primary link that connected the two together. Both, on the same mission towards solving problems and seeking answers, only progressed and discovered results because of regular trial and error.

Ironically, anxiety causes complications as we’re overrun by choices, yet a proven method towards solving problems and seeking answers, thrives on the many choices we’re presented with. Therefore it’s very important to understand that making the wrong choice shouldn’t really be the thing we should concern our lives with, failing to try is what we  really should be focusing on.

Motivation is triggered by thoughts that access our potential. If our thoughts are focused on making the wrong choice, then we’re only feeding an anxious spirit. However, if we mindfully focus our thoughts towards the outcome of not trying, we begin to awaken a motivated spirit.

There’s a wonderful bliss that one can experience when engaged in seeking answers. We can enter an active flow state and steady our minds just by engaging in life’s most simple and most effective learning tools. To sum up, we can begin to reduce anxiety by embracing the pleasure of discovery.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

CliffNotes Guide to Kick Starting a Life of Fulfilment

Rocket launch

Repression, frustration, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, fear and insecurity are just some moons that orbit around a lifeless planet called Judgment. Today is the day to climb into your rocket and take off to rediscover your world, a world that is simple and exciting.

To help launch your life into fulfillment, here are 5 of my favorite lessons that may help ignite your identity…

  1. Love and cherish life.

Life is incredible; it’s completely wide open and available to be explored. There’s nothing really holding you back from anything you wish to achieve. Negative thought is your only restriction. Start by appreciating life by finding gratification in small and simple things, things that are available to you naturally.

Remember to maintain your desire for freedom, fun and fulfillment and define them in your own way.

  1. Let go.

So many people are fed up with life because they’re living life constricted. You may not even realize that you’re holding onto chains of perception, onto an idea of how others perceive you without any quantifiable evidence. It causes you to box yourself into walls of comfort, fearing the freedom on the outside.

I would bet that most things you wish you could do are completely possible; the only thing keeping you from your potential is judgment. Let go and stop torturing yourself with words and ideals created by man. Start living and start feeling, listen to the heartbeat of emotion and let your feelings guide your destiny.

  1. Say “yes” more.

Embrace the spontaneity of life and expand zones of comfort. Get comfortable with confidence; share your deepest desires and discover them. Experience and explore curiosity.

We’re all artists. We have many skills and abilities lying dormant just beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, don’t be afraid to access them, fear will limit your potential.

  1. Work hard.

Life is hard, living is easy. The harder you work to live, the less you live to work.

Consume knowledge, test knowledge and challenge it. If what you learn doesn’t make sense then don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work hard to expand your horizons; don’t idly accept what you’re told as fact.

Also remember, the great things we have in our lives today are thanks to the hard work and boldness of great people before us. Work hard to leave behind a legacy, work hard to reach self-actualization, pay homage to greatness and pay greatness forward.

  1. Embrace others and build a community.

There’s a reason why we have emotion, not only do they guide our lives; they connect us to one another. We’re all beings connected by the very things that make us human, invite people into your life should they graciously want to enter and be there for those you can help.

Life can be great when explored alone but phenomenal when shared with others. It’s never been easier to meet new people and expand your reach; you have access people across the world at your fingertips. Network.

I guess the message in this entire post is: don’t spend your life creating moments and memories of regret just because someone else’s judgment held you back. Success is reserved for the brave and the bold, be fearless to find fulfillment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Dealing with Loss

LossDealing with loss is not easy, although its impact is measured by its significance to your life and your identity.

Whatever the circumstance it’s lonely and trying to reconnect with your identity and trying to move forward with your life is a challenge you never anticipate.When you lose a piece of your life that signifies a large part of your identity, repairing the damage requires you to regain control.

Loss presents itself with many challenges and I think the first thing you lose is control over your emotions. For anyone that has suffered any kind of loss can agree, that the arrangement of different emotions overwhelms your ability to process.

Sadness can get burdened by anger, anger can possibly lead to guilt, guilt gets enhanced by thoughts of hope and happiness, then reality kicks back in and you’re back to feeling sad again. The cycle continues on and on as you raise more questions to gain understanding and/or try to move on.

The effect from mixed emotions can cloud your identity. For those that haven’t suffered loss, relate by remembering how it feels when embarking on something new. When you start something new you’re excited and scared at the same time, you’re confident yet hopeful and can feel stressed yet still feel very ready. This constant cycling through emotions cause doubt and confusion. The series of emotions are different but the way they impact your identity are the same – they slow you from progression.

If you’re anything like me, avoidance is your go to. To avoid facing each and every emotion you end up focusing on routine, like burying yourself into work perhaps, or starting random projects that don’t make sense at this particular point in time.

At the other end of the spectrum you have a self-pitying and self-loathing reaction to loss.

Whichever way you choose to deal, the answer isn’t avoidance. You need to line up your emotions and deal with each feeling properly. Reduce its impact by allowing yourself to feel and build up a tolerance, so the next time it comes around you can cope better.

Between all the support and sympathy try and source support from someone strong willed enough to tell you to regain control, to tell you that you can rebuild your life again. It comes across brutish in society but when you’re going through cycles of emotions you need this awakening to break from it.

Preparation

One thing you should determine is whether you were prepared for the loss or not, sounds a bit silly in a lot of situations but you’ll find understanding this really helps with reasoning your emotions. There’s an odd source of strength that comes from knowing this.

If you were prepared you can put yourself back together much more quickly. Take losing your job for example, you can prepare for the potential of also losing your home. As horrible as it sounds you can almost process the loss before the loss even occurs and put processes in place to help you through it. It alleviates some of the stress however can cause anxiety as you wait for it to happen.

However, when life catches you off guard and side swipes you with loss, you’re having to prepare after the loss occurs. It’s like literally getting stabbed in the back, you don’t see it coming and you don’t know the attacker but you’re left to deal with it after it’s occurred. When loss is unforeseen it is much more difficult to recover, but knowing this gives you the freedom to feel each raw emotion in its entirety. It causes much more stress but lessens anxiety.

Either way, distinguishing your level of preparation, will help you move towards reaching that point of evaluation and reflection. It sounds simple but it’s something you never really consider when faced with loss…it allows you to look at your loss somewhat objectively, allowing your mind to think outside the cycle of emotion.

Evaluate and Reflect

Evaluate your current circumstance, at this very moment evaluate your responsibilities and really pick apart your life to understand your significance within it. Turn to areas of your life that require you to be yourself again, if you don’t get back on track with life what else will suffer? You need this reminder, you need this reasoning to break the cycle.

Reflect on your past and the life you have built, look to the choices you’ve had to make to build it. You’re currently faced with choices even though you may not see them yet. These choices can repair or further break down your identity, taking more parts of your life away with it. For example, choices that result in you lying in bed all day or getting up to seize the day.

You may never be the same person after suffering a huge loss but you can rebuild your identity to a point of restoration. Like constructing new walls that restore old ruins – it may not be the same but it can defiantly be brought back from frailty, to be relished once again.

Remember, it is OK to think about yourself – you need to. To regain control you need to move forward step by step and you must start with reclaiming your identity. Each and every day you work to feel like yourself again is a day contributed to moving forward and filling in the missing parts of your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Understanding Fear and the Fear in Decision Making

Decision

We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences…

…and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we’re willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.

All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions – it’s what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it’s telling me because of all the uncertainty.

Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I’ve learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait – by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.

Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you’ll live in fear; fear of failure.

To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn’t know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.

So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn’t even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn’t want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.

It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn’t getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.

I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn’t scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.

It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.

When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.

Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear – I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach