Because our biggest hindrance to happiness is what we think about being in control.
This is what drives our anxiety and searching for answers. We need to be in control of our lives and our feelings, but the more we try to get things in control, the worse of a tangled mess we make.
When I was asked, what do my readers really want from my website, my answer was "happiness!"
That's what EVERYONE is really looking for!
No matter what you thought you might find here, what you really really really want is to feel happy, content, fulfilled, joyful, and alive.
so, what's stopping you?
You are not in control of your thoughts.
That's the only thing between you and your happiness. Hard to believe, right?
Let's face it, we have forces pushing and pulling on us, from inside and out. We try to keep our balance, but we don't always have the knowledge or ability to get back to center. We are boats on the sea tossed by the waves; we are multi-faceted diamonds being forced into little holes of society's making. We become victims of our own circumstances. We think we can't be happy because things aren't the way we want them to be.
My message is simple: We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can have some control over our feelings, and experience some degree of happiness, if we stay centered and hold our balance, but that means we have to take control of our thoughts.
Whether we stay centered and hold our balance depends on the many choices we make throughout the day. We don't have to be the victims of circumstance, we just have to learn to use our minds correctly and understand about choice. (Remember this.)
It's a huge topic! Right?
This introduction will cover a few points in broad brush strokes-- things you need to Take Kontrol of your thoughts and, with that, have some control of your feelings. Basic things, like good choices, sleep quality, and using electronics must be dealt with first, since they are fundamental to balance.
Finally, I have a few words to say about 2020. The current pandemic has not only screwed up our lifestyles but introduced fear and uncertainty, plus isolation and grief, into everyone's daily lives. Our optimism got crushed. Know you are not alone, and together we can get through this, but ya gotta hang on to your optimism!
It's a long post. Enjoy.
to Balance, you need to be self-centered!
When we have too many internal and external forces pushing and pulling on us and can't find our balance, we feel totally out of control. This is a scary feeling – no, it’s more than scary, it’s scary AF!
But if we are centered, let’s say Self-Centered, which is the same as healthy self-respect and healthy self-regard, those pushing and pulling forces don’t make us feel out of control. We have a stable internal self-scape (psychological landscape) that has no problem managing our external self-scape (social landscape). We make good choices that reinforce our stability.
Here are some self-scape basics:
These are the tangible things, what you have to work with:
We are like sailboats on the sea. Either we get tossed by the winds of change or we open our sails and set a course and let those winds take us where we want to go.
Pro Tip: Take whatever you have to work with and consciously choose to use it all to full advantage.
These are the intangible things but are also what we have to work with:
We are like diamonds, with many facets and flaws, and we try to define ourselves in so many arbitrary ways. We try to organize our internal self-scape (psychological landscape) one way, then try to make it fit into our external self-scape (social landscape) like a trapezoidal diamond pushed into a round hole.
Bonus Tip: Our superpower is that we can shape our expectations about ourselves and our circumstances however we desire.
BEING SELF-CENTERED IS A CHOICE
Healthy self-respect and healthy self-regard are what I'm calling Self-Centered. It doesn't matter what we call it. It's just psychology, right? Just. Psychology.
Let's keep this simple. I want you to make the choice to be Self-Centered.
Do you choose to be Self-Centered? (Say YES)
Good job! Good choice! That was easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. You thought all you had were lemons, but you just made lemonade!
With your healthy self-regard and healthy self-respect, you are now ready to make more good choices. Let's begin...
Balance starts with good sleep
the way it should be...
You wake up feeling just right, at your own time and at your own pace. From foggy dream visions, your body connects with your mind and they ease together into the rhythm of your heart and breath, and you are stretching, and then you are back into your self. Slowly, you know you are you, then you are awake. The hard decisions you have to make are what flavor coffee or tea to brew, and what tunes suit the mood as you plan a leisurely day.
HAHAHA Yeeeeahhh. Right. Lovely, but for a few wrinkles in that scenario.
the way it probably is...
You are jarred into a stunned consciousness by the alarm clock, or the human-child, or the fur baby. It’s a race to get everything together, everyone together or settled, and out the door or into their proper places. You really have no idea what day it is until somewhere between 11 and 2.
It doesn’t matter if you are a lark or an owl, if you are on a schedule that is counter to your innate rhythm and you cannot waken naturally, you will suffer poor sleep and struggle to get up.
Balanced, natural wake-sleep rhythms are essential for the mind and body to recover from everyday activity. Restorative sleep is critical for the stressed out mind and body.
It’s up to you to mitigate that imbalance in the best way you can manage. I wish I could help you here, but it's something I've struggled with my whole life.
Now I take medication. It was a choice I made, wish I'd made it sooner. We keep the room near 68 degrees and I cover my head with a fuzzy blanket. Also cover up with a heavy blanket... drink milk, take a hot bath, uummmm... try not to look at the screen before bed... and, uummmm... meditate... exercise and spend time outdoors... avoid alcohol... keep the room very dark... jasmine... saffron... what am I forgetting?
Let me know what you do to get your best sleep!
Seize the Day, not the screen
Don’t, I say, DO NOT, look at the news in the morning, or your social media feeds, or anything whatsoever that is electronically produced when you first wake up. Probably best to not even turn on any music.
Whatever you plug into, is plugged into your mind and you have then, in a very real sense, lost your mind.
Take control of that bitch, right from the start, and just say no to anything electronic.
I know. You think you will die. But you won’t. DON’T DO IT!!! PUT IT DOWN, FOR FXSAKE!!!
Instead, and I know this might seem bizarre, go stick your head out the window or the door and take a deep breath of air. Breathe fresh air before you do anything else.
Unless you have an air pollution alert, of course, don’t do that silly! But, assuming you have reasonably clean air - whether it’s hot, cold, rainy, dry – breathe that shit in. If you can do one breath, maybe you can do three.
Then go start your cup of tea, or coffee, or some green algae juice, whatever. But breathe outdoors air first. Good job! Good choice!
The rest of your day is all about... more choices.
choices and problem solving
When was the last time you didn't have to make a choice? Really, it's a valid question! It might be an interesting exercise for contemplation.
Some simple choices are things like what to do, when to do it, what to wear, what to eat, who to see, who to NOT see because you can’t get out and visit, social distancing and all.
There’s also problem solving to be done every day – managing finances, completing tasks, dealing with relationships, making plans, and setting priorities are just some of the things you do all the time. From the most mundane to the incredibly complex, you are managing an extraordinary amount of information.
If all these thoughts hit you at once, you feel overwhelmed, out of control.
The pandemic has amplified and escalated the overwhelm.
Ultimately we have to find a way to balance ALL OF THIS. To do that, we must become aware of what throws us out of balance and work on fixes for it.
With a lot of effort and good training, I learned how to turn off all the intrusive thoughts and select what I want to think about or focus my energy on. So work is work. Family is family. Making perfume is making perfume. Gardening is gardening.
This is called compartmentalization in psychology. It's a tool. It's a choice. It's one of the ways I stay balanced.
What things do you do to bring yourself back into balance? Yoga? Meditation? Running? Gardening? I'd like to know!
COVID changes everything
Nothing has thrown us out of balance as bad as the pandemic. Nothing could have prepared us for all the adjustments we’ve had to make. Well, maybe an alien invasion would be worse, but let’s not think about worse things!
The impact on my patients’ lives, and on our community as a whole, is immeasurably bad. I see the impacts of COVID, close up. To be honest, I've thought hard about the merit of launching this website in the middle of the pandemic.
Maybe the worst thing of all is we no longer see one another as companions, but as potential infectors. You know what I mean. Our connections are mere whispers of intimacy.
What can we actually do? We will get into this more in future posts but, for now, stay focused on the now, the present moment. I will help you with this!
The first step is to choose to see the present moment in a positive way, like being grateful for this very simple breath you are taking now. So, let's do this positively! Take a deep breath in. Breathe it out.
The present moment, this breath, is a very good thing. Be grateful you can. #breathingisgood
The next step is to use the potential inherent in big and widespread changes as an opportunity, not obstacle. This is probably harder than taking that breath a moment ago. But I think it's very important to understand that all of reality is in flux, we just ignore the fact.
Great Change is Superflux, overflowing flux, and it's got all of our attention. The pandemic has us thinking in terms of survival. Our instincts, usually kept sedated by our culture, are getting tripped up. We don't really know how to relate to our primal energy, or this potential energy that comes with big changes.
Let's do something good with all this potential power. Let's guide the flux, let's direct the flow, in a way we think will help ourselves and others the most. Let's use the energy of these changes - as uncomfortable as it is - to see what really makes us want to live, then come alive. Let's get cozy with our primal nature, and see what it can do for us in the long run!
Let’s call this choice the Optimism Opt-In! #optimismoptin #greatchanges #choosetoflow #comealive
What to expect here
Maybe I will get preachy. Undoubtedly I will use big words. Most certainly I will use spicey language. If it bothers you, simply stop reading and you’ll feel better! That’s OK, I won't take it personally.
I promise I will do my best to find a balance between what interests me, and what I think I can write about with some reasonable authority, and what you would like to know more about. You'll have to let me know, of course.
My main interests are science and human consciousness. Because consciousness is a mind-body thing, not just what we think, and because I’m fascinated by odors (big surprise), the senses and perceptions will be a main focus of the blog.
There's also a teeny-weeny shade of poet in this psychocosm of myself, and on some topics I will wax poetic. Probably about roses and sensuality. We’ll see.
For now, I won’t be a daily blogger. My day job is very demanding, not only of my time but my physical and emotional energy. Hang in there with me and we will get through these stressful times, and let’s plan to come out on the other side in a better place.
Last minute advice:
Wear a face covering Always & Everywhere, take some vitamins (zinc and zinc ionophores to be precise), love the ones you’re with, stay super duper hydrated, and just breathe. Because we are lucky ducks if we can still breathe, don’t you think? Stop and smell the roses, literally and figuratively. Stay busy with good endeavors, try to fill your heart with good vibes and don’t put garbage into your brain.
We Got This!