5 intentions I have for aging well

I Am turning 30 this Season.

THREE ZERO. Is it amusing that I am writing a post on’aging nicely’ while still? It probably is, but whatever, I can not help it. I have PLANS.
Aging means a lot to me. It attracted me a great deal of pleasure. I admire my own children’s proclamations that they’re going to”stay little forever.” They’re two people that are currently living in the moment. Content, enthusiastic, and happy in their respective stages. The notion that they would someday live in their own houses, (or sleep in their beds for that thing lol) or who Isla would marry anyone but her dad, is far from their personal truth right now. I was not this child. I had my life . I had a desk I would develop into an whole office area in my head I would give speeches to fake microphones, and beneath my bed were hatboxes full of property listings of my favorite homes, interior design thoughts and images of 35 year old women cut out of my mum’s clothes catalogs because I liked their outfits. Really. Occasionally I look back to that child and wish I could show her exactly what she’d do. What her house will look like. What her occupation would become. The car she’d drive. Just cut her a break, so she would be able to feel somewhat cooler than she did back then. To let her understand that it was okay to achieve for age, wisdom, and growth and it would turn out better than she expected. And would be much more fun than anything happened in the 1999 Chadwicks catalogue.

And today I feel like I do not need to appear SO much forward . I really feel like I could have it now, although I understand what I want for my entire life. DO have it now. And therefore it is within this present moment, and also this forthcoming decade of my 30’s, that I have some intentions of how I will treat my entire life to ensure aging stays as much pleasure as it was. Which I composed with Biossance in collaboration, as their firm’s clean beauty standards have helped me attract intention in my self-care pattern for several a long time.

1. Intentionally surround myself with people who are life-loving, rich, and positive.

That is simply one of the endless reasons that I’m thankful that my children are my children. They had been born geniuses. Already knowing that it’s about love. Doubts they are smart, competent and strong. And running quickly is performed for no other reason besides having fun and feeling great. They are my teachers, and a few of the most men and women in my personal life. Their wonderfulness aside though, the 5 (adult) individuals we spend time with quite literally makes up that we are. And during the next decade, and most certainly for the rest of my lifetime, it is my intention to nurture that circle, so the people I am spending time with will be the ones pushing me, raising me, inspiring me, also acting as a mirror in which to more clearly see myself.

2. Take time for daily body-centering rituals.

We’re not our own bodies, but we live here at them. They’re how we represent ourselves into the planet, the way we experience what life offers, and they are being loved by part of loving ourselves. We all know the guidelines. Drink water, exercise, eat a balanced diet, take care of your skin. And it is important to find a way to create those feel great for you. Perhaps you enjoy water than cold, so you get a thermos that is way cuter than your water jar that is chilly. Perhaps you drop all of the principles, and get a book about eating. You wake up so you can listen to music at the shower and take your time soaking in your skin-care solutions. Whatever feels great. Create rituals. To allow them to become make as many moments as possible, minutes of self service, because of your intention.

Among the rituals which attracts me a great deal of pleasure is my skincare. As I’ve run through my nightly routine on my instagram before, That is no key. I have since had a lot of questions about my morning routine, because it seems a tiny bit different (obviously lighter and faster.)

Without question, and especially right now since I have spent so long in the sun this summer, I am using these two beauties from Biossance (top fave clean beauty brand as forever) every single afternoon: Squalane + Facial SPF 45 and Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum.

Did you know that they came out with a retinol alternative serum?? I received my very first preview of the item straight out of a beaker at Biossance’s HQ last year. It was essentially just 10 girls screaming when our group was told by the woman executives they released a fresh, sterile retinol. I’m relatively new to the retinol scene (about a year and half-ish) and I LOVE what it does for my skin, however because this serum uses plant-derived Bakuchiol (just understood off the top of my mind ) you receive the same strength without any of those side-effects of a normal retinol (enhanced sensitivity, can not unite with vitamin C, and it’s recommended that you don’t use while nursing or pregnant ). Hail a pregnancy-safe retinol!! Could have used one or more even five bottles.

Biossance’s sunscreen is just one of my preferred refreshing beauty sunscreens I’ve ever seen, not even kidding. It provides you lonely. It leaves this SHEEN you guys, and goes on whitened, but adheres to transparent, is non-oily. I have never been motivated to SPF daily. Bonus, it is excellent for your own environment/oceans (no oxybenzone or octinoxate and non-nano nutritional supplements ).
Accepting 10 minutes to wash and use serum and SPF to my face each morning is only one of the couple fast body-centered rituals that produce my mornings feel great, and my days feel better. NOT TO MENTION THE ANTI-AGING BENEFITS (both physically and emotionally!)

3. Learn ways.

Perform along with my children. Watch pictures. Discover new and creative ways to moveexercise, and push my physique. Take holidays. Daily, read. Proceed to Target. Proceed to the mountains. Take a work break at the park. It doesn’t matter what it’s actually, but if you’re always cognitive of what does or doesn’t feel good, what is or is not fun… you are becoming an outside observer of yourself.  And being mindful of how you feel and mindful of yourself, is your first step to knowing yourself, strengthening your instinct, and becoming someone who has the ability to emphasise your patterns of negativity, nervousness, and anxiety. Becoming cognitive of your self hour-by-hour, makes getting action to follow what you understand to be great for you that much easier.
So that is my aging-well plan: follow the great. Adhere to the pleasure.

4. Do things which scare me.

Including setting goals which can otherwise be deemed’biased’,  actually by myself. I wish to age in expertise, in bravery, in wisdom gleaned by accepting risks, in showing up before I was prepared, in being the man who’s a little less limited by her human doubts than she was the day earlier, in aligning with my truth and living it with the integrity, even though it looks differently than you believed it would. I know I keep talking about feeling great. And you would think both of these items (‘feeling good’ &’doing things which are scary’) ‘ are counter-balancing, but I have discovered that feeling great does not mean residing easily, lazily, or indulgently even. Instead they come down to living intuitively. And dang, if that intuition doesn’t make you SHOW UP.

5. Actively provide elegance every day to myself.

That is a lot. Aging into who you’re supposed to be is a whole lot. Chasing your dreams really are a great deal. I am jeeze having dreams is a lot. A great deal of learning, a great deal of patience, lots of trying and looking, a lot of question asking and response hunting, and it is SO EASY to find something such as reoccurring bouts or your anxiety of stress as a failure. But I am not going to be the woman who is unable to find the great. Before she even sees her failures who can not watch her successes. I will seek to see myself clearly. Watch the whole, forgive the broken up, give grace everyday and try regular.

And THAT, and in many ways, it’s my intention to age nicely, age , age abundantly, age favorably, and age youthfully. Fingers crossed.

Thank you to Biossance for partnering on this post, and for encouraging more aware self-care. 

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A DIY Guide to Art Therapy

A DIY Guide to Art Therapy

Perhaps you have felt anxious about beginning open-ended jobs?

Do you feel lost without a guide for new jobs?

Think about a blank canvas? Does it throw you ?

This has been the story of my entire own life.

Getting the perfect shot for a portrait photographer, creating a flawless web site as an online marketer or perhaps viewing a blank picture in an art course — any new endeavor that’d no template would make me panic.

Teaching What I Wanted To Learn

Teaching children showed me my growth had been stunted.  When I became a teacher, I noticed just how great these activities were because of their own expansion and was often involved in children’s art activities. They were permitted to create by themselves, and I saw how far that helped them build assurance and initiative.

These were qualities I never acquired, and seeing their creative actions made me understand how different my kindergarten arts and crafts were.

My kindergarten teacher was rather rigid. Instead of giving us art that will make us believe and create confidence, she’d us copy models. (Sound familiar?)

There was no choice included, and also we needed to copy steps with no deviation.

All of the childhood memories flooded back as I started teaching preschool again. I realized these kind of crafts and arts projects may stunt your development.

Kindergarten is the place where your college life starts. Not being reliable at such a young age to make on your own and only copy the instructor might spill over into several regions of your everyday life.

I recognized of having things to be straight, my nervousness came from this. It affected my ability to become an independent thinker and do things.

Letting Go of Stress

Art is the best way to free yourself from anxiety, even in case you don’t have a creative bone. I always loved art and became an art teacher.

I loved visiting the children develop throughout the artwork projects, which were focused on procedure.

The artwork I give children, in process-focused artwork, you do not be concerned about what you are generating. The process of creating is more important than the outcome.

The beauty of the form of artwork is that you don’t have to be all that inventive to enter this. You can still do this in the event you can not draw a direct line. The idea is to give up the result.

But as I was teaching, I felt stressed faced with a blank canvas. I felt I had to do something panicked.

It struck me that when this process-focused artwork was assisting the kids develop and grow, it might still help me too. I guessed that by becoming involved in artwork where the product is indeed open-ended, it may help me lose my nervousness.

I started researching the topic of process artwork for adults, and I found some information.

Art as Therapy

Barbara Diane Barry writes in her book Painting Your Way out of A Corner that she saw focusing on the practice of art which impacts other regions of your life. It may offer you a space to explore new ways of thinking and a means to work through feelings getting in the way.

The psychologist Albert Bandura said that doubts on your creative capability can be treated by guiding people through successes. The Creativity Heal , written by Carrie and Alton Barron (both MDs), discussions about the way you can recover from anxiety, depression, lack of power and a lot of complaints through creativity.

I was sold, but I was also still petrified. I could not get myself going, although I desperately wished to try.

To give myself a push, so I started a mixed media art course at my house with a couple older kids, and that I joined as a student and instructor. Media artwork is process-only artwork for adults. You spend some time researching materials and techniques without any pressure to create or draw something.

I was still anxious sitting facing a blank webpage, but I’m gradually relaxed. I discovered that by becoming involved in mixed media artwork, it will take you back to your own youth and gives you experiences with process-only art you never needed.

By concentrating on the procedure instead of the result, you may lose your anxiety and dread of making mistakes, and calm envelops you. This is what occurred to mepersonally, and it may happen to you also.

What Process-Only Art Will Do For You

Media art can have many advantages for your personal development. The following are just a few:

  • You may no longer feel like you want to have things exactly right.
  • You will feel more capable and unable to think of innovative answers.
  • You may lose your fear of the sterile canvas.
  • You’ll free yourself from anxieties, worries and ruminations.
  • You’ll gain confidence as you enhance your abilities.
  • You may have more initiative in your own personal life.

Since you learn new techniques, you take little risks that result in small successes. This will direct you to a far greater feeling of well-being, since problem solving and troubleshooting, which are big sections of artwork, are not only creative but also transformative.

What You Want to Begin

It is not simple to go into unknown territory; I will be the first to acknowledge it. I sat around for years to choose the very first step. But only remember — you don’t have to be inventive to do so; you just have to create.

Media has standard actions and principles which you follow along with an enormous quantity of leeway.

In producing any mixed media piece the very first thing you have to need to do is select a background for your artwork (often referred to as a substrate). Listed below are a few to get you started:

  • Heavyweight newspaper
  • Illustration board
  • Cardboard
  • Canvas

Then you have to determine how this particular background will be covered by you. There are plenty of books and info on the internet that will help you decide on any variety of fun surface treatments.

You will surely feel like a child again as you create these cool, totally abstract wallpapers, mainly with paint. You will likely require modest tubes of either watercolor or acrylic paints, so (you can find really affordable beginner collections ), in addition to a brush or 2.

Following the background comes the decision as to which collage materials and embellishments you would love to use. Then you want to pick. You also get to use stencils, stamps, confetti, glitter glue, markers, organic leaves and flowers also to improve your artwork.

You can use a great deal of stuff from around your home for combined media. Here are Merely Some of the materials:

  • Aluminum transparency
  • Cupcake holders
  • Candy wrappers
  • Receipts
  • Yarn
  • Ribbons
  • silk balls
  • Q tips

Foundation an art on a picture in the magazine and Most mixed media designers use cutouts from newspapers and magazines to grow their art.

Give Yourself a Theme

I will give you a motif that will allow it to be much easier to start . This will add a bit of structure to your action. You do not have to have a theme if you don’t wish to, of course.

Your very first theme is flowers. It may be a flower garden, a person holding flowers, flowers on a windowsill, flowers in a vase or a flowerpot, etc..

You can start with blossoms in the magazine or create blossoms from cupcake holder or tissue paper or any one of those materials you have collected. The only rule is that flowers are the theme because you’re able to add different components to the artwork .

So let’s begin.

  • Locate a piece of cardboard, canvas or something thicker than newspaper to use as a background.
  • Take your watercolors (or alternative paints) and squeeze several colors onto the paper and then paint the whole paper, rendering it quite moist.
  • Require a piece of saran wrap or wax paper and press it into the wet paint. As you do that, crumple it and then leave it to wash of crumpled up.
  • When dry, remove the wrap and you will have a very cool pattern emerge which will become your background.
  • Pick a picture from a magazine which will start your blossom theme off, or begin producing your own flowers with your materials.
  • Insert some stamping, stenciling, glitter, markers or anything else which can enhance your art.

Keep in mind these are just ideas. You may find yourself somewhat apprehensive as you start if you don’t know”exactly” what to do. As you start discovering more items around your house which you may use for your flower art much fun it turns out to be However you’ll see.

Becoming involved in this hobby is not only enjoyable , enriching and relaxing, but it will also cause you to good personal growth.

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can you see me?

Therefore I was operating with a buddy on defining her personal style today. Among those questions I asked ,”when you get dressed in the morning and leave your property, would you want your clothes to help you blend into the crowd or do you need people to notice you?”
Along with her response, although on the apologetic side, was,”Well… I don’t know… I love to get noticed.”
And I believed, yes.
YES!
Courageous honesty. I would like to get seen. I want to get recognized.  Even at the the seemingly immaterial: Yes I really do want other people to view my style and join with what I’m wearing.

So why is that so scary to acknowledge? Why is it terrifying to me to admit?? I mean I really have a public site about wearing clothes for goodness sakes, and it feels vulnerable to me to say”yeah woman, I want to be noticed.” Why is it that people, the overriding players on interpersonal networking, the females of this ground, have the time. And never in the way that we are used to. Not in the way that involves being desired. But being seen in the way that needs us to own having desire.

It is the game we all play on the internet all day, supporting our instagram reports and our sites, expecting to be noticed and heard and acknowledged and validated, all of the while down-playing the efforts we make to be able to achieve that. What if we gave me permission to acknowledge each individual’s honest demand for importance. Permission for ourselves and for others to say, conclusion free,”Here I am. Look at me. I need to take space up ” We post beautiful images of our lives, of our families, of our homes, ourselves, and we all put it off as dull and absurd and even disconnective, when really, the only underlying question beneath it all is,”can you see me?” But we don’t admit that. Because nobody wants to seem as though they’re trying to be viewed, and we’re all trying our flipping asses off.

This has been such part of the blogger/influencer game particularly. When people first started to inquire how online platforms may be increased, I feel as though everyone was simply shrugging and saying,”guy I don’t even know! It just happened!” No one confessed to needing it. No one confessed to employing strategy. Heaven forbid you’d admit to needing to make a living. The truth is, I connect and would comment when I first started writing, manner waaay back in the afternoon. I wanted my words to be read. My entire life to be known. And I made the attempt. And I recall other bloggers being made fun of and shamed when they called to what they were performing because of their”project”, so I quickly discovered,”Oh! So that’s how we do it here. We don’t try. We simply happen.” And the faking started. In fact, the appearance of not wanting was such a part of my psyche for decades, I held myself back from shifting my status quo and moving after what I needed, as it would’ve meant making a exact public attempt of attempting. And that felt way too insecure maybe fail at obtaining it, then to admit I needed something different.

I’d like to prevent those patterns. I wish to really want. I want to be understood – and own that. I would like to belong to myself deeply for becoming a whole man, and take responsibility. I have seen what it looks like every time a lady side-steps knowing herself and owning her dreams until she breaks, triggers a massive effect in those who surround her. Which is why when I heard this idea once, it was like a gong being smashed into my mind:”If you don’t take some opportunity to understand yourself, honor your self, and express yourself, you need everyone else around you to handle your sense of self. It is selfishness in the title of selflessness.”

*may we have a moment of silence*

Our good since women, can be expressed in a lot of ways, but sacrificing ourselves on the point of self-betrayal isn’t one of these. Own what you’re doing. Own what you want. Be viewed. Be understood. And kick some ass.

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So I just discovered that I’m a perfectionist. Literally 5 minutes ago.

I only saw an Instagram story on the feed of my cherished Brooke White (if you don’t follow her, you ought to, she is a soul sister in the truest sense of this phrase ) and she was talking about her struggle with procrastination and time management, along with the deeply rooted cause behind it. The origin essentially being perfectionism and putting off participating in lifestyle if you believe you can’t do it flawlessly. Really, ACTUALLY setting your own damn life off since you’re feeling you can’t do it. There was one quote that she pulled from Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School podcast on rejection which said,”Procrastinators are fearful men and women.” I understood that and I thought, omg that’s freaking me. I have never identified as a perfectionist but balls that were sacred am I a die-hard procrastinator. I’ve used procrastination since grade school for a self preservation strategy, trying to irrationally avoid decision, and rejection for as long as humanly possible. That self preservation tactic also bled into my tendency toward being a people-pleaser. So far, that it almost destroyed me years back, I discovered that there were individuals. I began writing to please themand subsequently, the soul of my writing became unrecognizable while I gradually, every day, betrayed myself.

“Individuals pleasers are liars”, says Brooke Castillo and her reality bombs. When you don’t saying you like something. Saying you are ok with something whenever you aren’t. I had been so excellent at lying. When I let myself to be, I’m still good at it. Like a muscle . I brought this damage in my connection with my mom when I set my self-imposed need to please and avoid potential rejection, over my desire to speak my truth. And it had been only when my reality was so overpowering, so insistent, even bubbling over into my nightly dreams, I had been forced to face and speak it, and also the relationship was sent on its way around repair and healing.

Perfection. Procrastination. Self Preservation. Back at the heyday of blogging, I was invited several times to speak on panels at different conferences. This is not a brag. At that time that I was horrified. In a moment of panicked white-knuckling, at first, I said , and eventually, I would find a way that was back-doored to say no. I didn’t trust myself to talk out loudly not to a room filled with individuals. I didn’t expect them not to judge me, maybe not deny me. Nevertheless this invite to talk, and also to become stronger than I had been in that instant, wasn’t eliminated delayed.

I am currently, in the first stages of never being scared of myself. When I say the early stages, I’m speaking like a year and a half here. I’m daily, hourly, digging deep on my why. And I am, for the very first time, expecting myself to vocally talk in front of those I adore ( um, you). Yet confidence and the wisdom which I really do have something to express , is racing neck and neck with my fear I won’t say it enough. I’m in the middle of launching a podcast, while I feel, deep down into my bones, this is a portion of my function at the moment, I am in the same instant, combatting negative self talk in my capacity to execute it with the elegance and ease others. The term”other people” is not a mirror to see oneself, but damn if I don’t use it as one.

Additionally within those early stages of never being scared of myself… officially known as,”come in my bro part 1, 2 and 3″… I am diving into the realm of creating classes instead, and everything I expect to be a deeply satisfying, new way to create a daggum alive on these internets. And you also know what is the strangest? Perfectionism. That is what’s the dumbest. I know my purpose, I know my motive, (let you Alison’s Brand Workshop for that, it was my literal emergency hotline) I understand exactly what I want to do, and I am stunted, and annoyed by my impulse to gratify the toxin of perfection. I allow fear of judgement back in. Fear of rejection. And I am not down with this.

So here is my truth. I am going to talk it today.
PERFECTION IS A LIE. AND I AM NOT A LIAR.
Not anymore.

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“Maximal” Episodes

From Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus ·

This month, February 2019, The Minimalists Podcast will take off the month. But we listed four experimental “Maximal” episodes for The Minimalist Private Podcast, including talks about joy and depression, products and branding, and “The Life-Tidying Magic of Gentrification,” where we present our thoughts on Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up and, um, gentrification. You can listen to The Minimalists Private Podcast on Patreon.

Don’t worry, however! The Minimalists Podcast–the favorite, public variant you enjoy–will go back in March with brand new episodes, new guests, along with a slightly new arrangement. Plus, each week we’re planning to record a totally different long-form “Maximal” event for The Minimalists Personal Injury ; these longer episodes will give us the freedom to dive deep to difficult conversations. If you subscribe to our personal podcast on Patreon, you’ll receive a personal RSS link so that it plays in your podcast app. You’ll also have access to our complete catalogue of more than 100 personal podcast episodes.

Why listing our new “Maximal” episodes on Patreon? Two reasons.

There are a number of topics we would like to discuss semi-privately in front of a little, compassionate group of people–conversations we would have just with friends. We want to have the ability to think out loud in front of a small group of individuals that are willing to give us the leeway to neglect and develop, to change our thoughts. We need to have the ability to talk without any fear of judgment or public ridicule about our insecurities, our family lives, our struggles, our relationships, our feelings, and our flawed customs. We consider Patreon is the best place for people to delve into these sensitive issues, difficult talks, along with ceaseless shenanigans.

Second, Patreon is your simplest method for individuals to fund our podcast and also maintain it 100% advertisement-free. Our show is 100% listener-funded — thanks to this proportion of men and women who encourage our series, because we refuse to clutter our popular podcast with advertisements. Enables us to pay for gear, studio space, a podcast manufacturer, and a filmmaker, and it is going to enable us to get some cash.

Clearly, money isn’t the reason we capture our podcast. We now ’ d simply load it with rake and advertisements in revenue if it was. But, of course, there’s s nothing wrong with earning money, and we believe the most honest manner is to give people the option to support our show.

Please notice: If you can not manage to be a Patreon subscriber, do not fret and we don’t expect the series to be supported by you . That’s why people ’ll continue to generate other creations, essays, videos, and podcasts you’ll be able to enjoy at no cost. And for some of you that opt to support our work , thank you. We love it.

–Joshua & Ryan

P.S. Do you like just a small play? Well, we re introducing a new segment: “About . ” Each week during our “Maximal” episode, we’ll read about a recent event that ties directly or indirectly to minimalism. We ll then share our opinions, and since we both have different points of viewpolitically, spiritually, emotionally–we now all ’ll debate many of the topics. But best friends are permitted to fight?

P.P.S. Here’s what patrons are referring to our new personal podcast episodes so far:

The post “Maximal” Episodes appeared first on The Minimalists.

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One Simple Way to Improve Your Confidence

One Simple Way to Improve Your Confidence

During that awkward phase of high school when you are just as confused by what your math teacher says as what your hormones are telling you, my life shifted dramatically by the most dreaded experience for all school age children — I changed schools.

Thanks to the infinite wisdom of the local school board and their new school zoning policy, I was required to change to a new high school as a freshman. The standard adjustment period from elementary to high school was made exponentially more unenjoyable by the fact that my new school had an entirely new social demographic.

I went from the average awkward teenager to one who was so scared of just being looked at as he got off the bus that my entire body would break out in sweat. Forget talking to girls — walking through the halls at recess was difficult enough. All those eyes looking at me!

My family and friends encouraged me to be “more confident. This is perhaps the worst advice you can give to someone who is border-lining on social anxiety disorder.

In retrospect I know their intentions were good, although their advice was just terrible. Did they just expect me to turn on the confidence switch in my head? Oh oops, I forgot to turn that on.

The process took a long time, and actually the only thing that built up my confidence systematically was athletics, especially wrestling and martial arts.

It wasn’t so much the coaching but rather the physical challenge. The better I got, the more my confidence grew and slowly expanded into totally unrelated realms. It was almost as if once I knew I was good at something, I knew I was good enough to talk with everyone.

What Most Of Us Get Wrong About Confidence

Telling someone to be confident is like telling someone to be happy.

Happiness cannot be pursued directly, and if it is, the results will almost certainly be both quickly forgotten and disappointing. Instead it is a byproduct of losing yourself in some pursuit, moment, sensation or idea.

Confidence is like happiness — it cannot be pursued. Rather it is a product of a life-changing process or experience.

There is a basic formula to create lasting confidence.

Being Scared of Something + Resolving To Do It + Doing It = Confidence

Inspirational quotes, pop psychology and self-affirmations are just temporary confidence boosts. Although they may make you feel good, they lack the fundamental base. They are like temporary Band-Aids.

Maybe you wanted to hear some secret formula, but like most things in life, the foundations of great beginnings are often deceptively simple. Only when we look from far away do they look complicated and inaccessible.

Challenge is the mortar used to build the foundation of confidence. We build confidence one success at a time. Perhaps this is the perennial lure of self-help — it provides an external source to lay that first foundation of confidence for self-development and growth.

This idea is echoed in childhood, where good parenting instills an illusionary sense of confidence. The “Wow. Honey you are so great” comment serves to build children’s confidence. However to lather such specious compliments on an adult comes across as fake and disingenuous.

What to Tell Someone Lacking In Confidence

Instead of telling them they are intrinsically great and amazing, instead offer them a challenge. They may not take it, but you have done your part. You can’t force confidence upon anyone.

Only a transformative experience can affect someone into creating LASTING change. Any challenge, regardless of how insubstantial it may seem, is the water and sunlight needed for the seed of confidence to grow.

There are no losers — as westerners we are so preoccupied with success that we often forget just taking on a personal challenge is transformative enough. Regardless of the outcome, taking on some sort of task and completing it shows one that he or she is capable.

I’ve been a high school teacher for the last eight years. I must admit, I’ve given up on the idea of inspiring change simply through giving life advice. Instead I offer challenges.

The students who lack confidence, I build them up. I start small. I empower them to create confidence for themselves. All the while I stand on the sidelines watching them build themselves up one challenge at a time.

The Unstoppable Confidence Plan

Remember the three steps for building confidence. Think Simple Right?

  1. Pick something you are scared of.
  1. Commit to doing it and follow through.
  1. Become more confident as a result.

Sounds too simple? The beauty of simplicity is that it’s the underlying factor in the greatest achievements. It’s the water that slowly wears away the rocks or the steady hand that builds a masterpiece. Simple formulas can create uncommonly great things.

The next time someone is lacking confidence and they feel they can’t continue on or don’t know how to, don’t just lather them with well-intentioned, you-can-do-it comments.

Instead, offer them a challenge.

Do you have areas where your confidence is low? What would you like to be more confident about? Drop a comment below and let us know.

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Am I a Bad Person? Navigating an Encounter with Your Shadow Self

Your guide to understanding your shadow.

The post Am I a Bad Person? Navigating an Encounter with Your Shadow Self appeared first on High Existence.

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3 Ways to Declutter Your Mind

3 Ways to Declutter Your Mind

We all lead busy lives. In today’s world, it’s as if it’s a badge of honor. Always rushing to the next thing. Working late to meet that deadline to please a boss or client. Driving from one kid’s soccer practice to the other.

With all of the busyness that fills our days, weeks and months, our mental space begins to fill simultaneously. Internal thinking begins to pile high collecting dust. Stress and anxiety begin to form, ultimately, transcending into our outer world. Our days become even busier with stress and anxiety layered on top.

This is especially true during times of personal struggle. Our mental space becomes so cluttered with thoughts of reality, sprinkled in with fictitious inner-ramblings that we often find it hard to decipher between the two.

When my wife and I decided to sell our business of three years, it put us in a not-so-desirable position financially. As we found ourselves struggling, I, without even knowing, handed the keys of my outer world to my inner world’s chattering ego.

Stuck in the Past

Instead of finding ways to move forward, I froze. I thought about all of the decisions we made over the last three years. I pointed fingers and placed blame. I was stuck in the past wanting to relive it, hoping to change it.

I thought about the things we should or shouldn’t have done. I thought about how our family wouldn’t be in the position we found ourselves in if only we did this instead of that.

I pushed off accepting and owning the reality in which we lived. I didn’t want to feel failure. My ego was in total control, and it was taking me down unnecessary rabbit holes of fictitious thoughts.

The more I surrendered to my inner dialogue, the more mental clutter was accumulating. As this began to stack, I could see and feel the stress and anxiety creeping up around the corner.

It got to a point where my inner dialogue was transcending my outer world. Pain and darkness ensued. Relationships became toxic. I was beginning to hurt the people I loved and cherished most.

Then, for a split second, I noticed how unhealthy I was becoming, both emotionally and physically, and how much hurt I was causing those around me. For a split second I heard the dialogue taking place in my head; the voice using words feeding the bad wolf.

I knew I had to do something.

Taking Care of Myself

I made a decision, a vow in fact, and committed to being intentional about my self-growth. I had to rediscover who I was. I had to reestablish my values. I had to get back to the way I wanted to feel. I had to take care of myself first in order to give my best self to others.

In order to accomplish any portion of this, I had to start by decluttering my mental space. My head chatter was clouding the lens in which I saw the world. I had to find ways to eliminate the clutter and make space for presence and truth.

Here are three ever so simple, but foundational, ways to declutter your mental space:

1. Read

As much as I wanted to find an escape, what I needed most was connection and perspective. Escaping is merely suppressing the pain, allowing it to fester and morph into something much larger than what it already was.

When you’re able to recognize the feeling of wanting to escape, use it as a springboard toward self-growth and reinvention.

Reading connected me to the power of personal story and shed light onto perspective. It made me see the very thing that caused me such pain a little bit differently. The lens in which I saw the world changed, and a shift in mindset transpired.

2. Meditate

Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting on the floor with your back straight and hands on your knees while concentrating on your breathing. As powerful as this has been for me, meditation can be as simple as finding joy in the quiet — finding space within your day to be bored and still. It’s finding solitude.

These practices allow the busyness of our daily lives to slow down – to become more present with the moment and to become one with ourselves. It’s finding wholeness and connection with ourselves.

3. Write

Writing has been an answered prayer. It’s the purest form of release. It’s the city dump and charity to the thoughts that clutter your mental space. Writing wholeheartedly in a journal holds the key to personal discoveries you couldn’t have even imagined.

Allowing everything to pass from my egotistic head chatter to my fingers and onto paper has become the foundation to my self-growth. When I don’t write, I notice. The feeling of busyness and anxiety begin to creep in again.

Decluttering your mental space uncovers the truth that sits within you, most times buried under the unnecessary. As your truth emerges and you begin to live life through it a sense of lightness takes over. Meaning and purpose ensue.

Our inner world is often the thing that gets neglected, even though it’s the very thing feeding our outer world. As you might look to declutter your physical possessions, pause and pay attention to your inner dialogue. Maybe, just maybe, your next task is decluttering your mental clutter.

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Donald Robertson: Is Stoic Philosophy The Best Preventitive Psychological Medicine? (Podcast #17)

Making Stoic philosophy a way of life.

The post Donald Robertson: Is Stoic Philosophy The Best Preventitive Psychological Medicine? (Podcast #17) appeared first on High Existence.

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How I Overcame Social Anxiety

How I Overcame Social Anxiety

I’ve been shy. I’ve become accustomed to being called”the quiet one” My mum tells stories of a toddler that, through hereditary build up — me once I was only a little toddler, whenever we had company, hiding my head away and perhaps conditioning, acted on his own instinct.

As I grew, so did my anxiety. In my childhood innocence, I transformed into a more receptive, sensitive young man. These were conditions for anxiety to develop, to germs like dampness and warmth.

My brother bar-mitzvah possibly exaggerated my worries and exposed. My nine-year-old self happened to deliver the sister and brother speech as obligated by convention and expectation.

The address has been received well, but my laughing gradually turned into crying, the scenario for my spirit that was little. I once again took to hiding my head along with my sister’s arm a guard against the nerves and humiliation I felt looking into the audience .

The episode was laughed off by people in attendance, put down to my youth and my shyness. However, as I grew older, with muscles beginning to appear and hair, within I was this shy, scared boy of nine.

Growing Tide of Anxiety

As man civilization began to envelop my college — boys getting interested in women and banter adopted as the new official language — I felt as though I was drowning in this growing tide of anxiety.

From people, I felt isolated with my silent character. I felt like a child in a group of adults. Consumed by my anxieties, I would think people were judging me:

  • “He is silent”
  • “He’s not humorous”
  • Or worst of all”He is boring”

Not being able to show the real me at school or to be the man I had been at home, in which I had been fortunate enough to feel comfy, became increasingly bothersome.

I made custom of seeking solace. An increasing quantity of my rest times were being invested safe in my cell that was isolated. There I was , able to have a break from the strain I felt while socializing, not having to execute.

Time moved fast, my mind occupied on my current blunders. I got annoyed at myself to mumbling my words in history class or later when that girl I like talked to me personally, considering a response.

Seeking a Quick Fix

In an attempt to improve the circumstance, I introduced cognitive therapy and more standard counseling a try.

I determined that counseling wasn’t because of me when both advisers indicated the only way I could create any improvement was during exposure treatment. I wanted a fast fix, a no-pain, no-effort solution. This vulnerability therapy seemed backwards to me if I could do it, I would do it. I would not be sitting in this seat!

The reason I could not go out and be confident was I couldn’t go out and be more confident! I was not going to let a tarantula crawl over my head, although I wished to conquer my fear of spiders!

Both of those advisers were of course right. I needed to confront my issues head-on, otherwise become incurable and they would continue to fester. I realized that I was getting paralyzed by my own social anxieties. They had been controlling my each decision and running my life, I had been the puppy, social anxiety was my first leash, and it was tight round my throat.

I understood there were two chief things holding me backagain. I discovered that these items were only figments of my own imagination! This has allowed me to loosen that leash, so a clasp anxiety had on me for such a long time.

1. Not All Of Awkward Silences Are Because of Me

Conversations are a two-way street. Understanding this enabled me to take the strain off — letting myself relax a bit.

I really enjoyed talking to people! If things went rancid and began to feel somewhat awkward, I accepted this was down to me. The man believing I was dull wasn’t judging me. I could just be myself and stop worrying so much.

2. No One Cares

This discovery in particular has been tremendously liberating for me personally. There was something arrogant from the mindset I had developed, that we needed me in their mind always, caring what I looked like, inspecting.

If I did not spend my time inspecting others each actions , why in the world would others do so for me? No one judged me.

I had been free of the burden. Instead I could spend some time on really living, not only living, treading through this minefield of judgement and humiliation.

When I started to understand my idea procedures were absurd, I could begin to confront my worries .

Only Living

I now voluntarily socialize, something that I was able to consciously avoid. I realize it is more significant to live, not to just live, while I still find it scary, as most do.

I can speak to people with no heart feeling as if it’s going to burst, although I the one. I am dreaming much larger than I did. Free from the jacket that has been my stress, my entire life has opened to opportunities.

Whom I once would use for tasks that would limit interaction and not participate in nightclubs, I now have the ammo to overcome those allies whenever they rear their ugly head.

Where I was once living to not be viewed, I’m now trying to simply live.

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