Monday, 22 August 2016

When it's hard to see a way past something

Do you ever wish you could take a magic pill or potion that would miraculously solve your life's issues? I have been feeling a bit like that today.

Whilst I know that acceptance and allowing even the most difficult things to be as they are is the better way to go, my instinct is still to lash out in frustration and wish that the things that bug me had been resolved years ago. There is also a bit of balance necessary - sometimes, mere 'acceptance' isn't enough and a good rant does help - as long as you have a bit of self awareness and even accept that you feel frustration and anger at this very moment.

Emotions are the result of blocked energy and can be difficult to deal with - and as a highly sensitive person who feels everything deeply, I sometimes feel like running a mile when difficult stuff comes up.

There's no point in beating yourself up when you feel shit - I believe that we are all doing the best we can. As much as you may sometimes wish that things would be different, you have to start from where you are. Sometimes, the challenges can seem insurmountable - but at the end of the day, we are here to learn and to help others, not have an easy life.

Listen to your body and ask what it needs. Meditate. Go out in nature. Have a good rant if that's what you need. Ask for help. There are no quick fixes - just do the best you can to allow things to be as they are and be open to what lessons the tough times can teach you.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

What's on my mind?

Well, hello again Facebook. So you want to know what's on my mind? Well, as it happens, it's a bit big to fit on a status. So I'll use my blog instead.

Recently, not for the first time, I've been feeling a little despondent about my whole life situation and wondering what I need to do (or not do) for things to get better. Most of us have good intentions, but when it comes down to it, it requires a lot of motivation and effort to do whatever it takes to really make life work for us. The subconscious mind can seem like an insurmountable obstacle - the thought patterns that we've struggled with for years just don't seem to go away.

Yes, I have been feeling a lot of resistance recently when things come up that I don't like.

So - time to be a bit honest here. I am basically quite a lazy person and I often struggle for motivation to do things that I know would be productive. And, perhaps partly because I've already been through more than enough crap in my lifetime, the prospect of doing things like going to therapy, facing emotional pain and seeing a doctor scares me somewhat. And I don't currently have much motivation to go back into education and spend 2 or 3 years getting a qualification, especially if (as would be likely) I'd have to work at the same time.

Whilst I would like to get 'unstuck', the reality is that changing my life will take a lot of effort and perseverance. However, I do believe that we all work at our own pace. We all have different needs and values. And we need to start from where we are.

Trying to do too much all at once would end up overwhelming me. As much as I would like to work for myself, I don't know if I'd have what it takes to do so - and there is nothing wrong with you if you are working for someone else, as long as the job has a degree of alignment to who you are - there are few things worse than working in a stressful job which is totally 'not you'.

So for me, I still feel small steps are the best way forward.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Friends .. don't always come in the package you expect

It's been six months now since I was regularly posting on this blog. And I still haven't quite got to the stage where I am ready to post every week again. But anyway, hopefully the blog will be ready for something of a re-birth soon. In the meantime, today I want to talk about a subject that is sort of close to my heart .. and sort of not.

The reason I say this is because I have never found it easy to make friends .. well, I guess I find it easier now than I ever have, but I still don't always find it easy to form close friendships, and I still do enjoy my own company and need time to myself.

My friendships have changed a lot over the last 10 years - obviously I made a big change by moving up north where I didn't know anyone, and it is not easy to keep in touch that much with people once you move away. Facebook has been a big help though. Then I went through a time of self-discovery, a time where I rubbed some people up the wrong way when being one of the hosts on City Socialising, and really it took me a little while to learn social skills having been in my own world until my early thirties. There were some people I fell out with during my first years up north, and some who I am still friends with, even though I don't see them much.

To cut a long story short, I moved to a different town in June 2014, at a time when I was at quite a low point in my life - having fallen out with a family member, and having had some fairly stressful jobs. I knew some people in Huddersfield - which is part of the reason I moved there - although now I don't have that much contact with these people - but essentially it was a case of starting over again.

Of course, I went through my brother's death a few months later and being catapulted into uncertainty after (rightly) quitting a job that was even more stressful than the previous bad ones. I went through a period of two or three months where I hardly saw anyone, which wasn't nice. After this, I started hanging out with some people I met on Meetup - one of whom I am no longer friends with after it became very apparent that some of their attitudes and behaviours were not conducive to unity and getting on with others, and that person has sadly alienated themselves from a number of people. I have certainly learnt a big lesson not to blindly believe that other people are bad just because someone else says so, and also to be a bit more discerning as to who I hang out with.

However, what I have also learnt is to be open minded and to mix with people who I may not have normally mixed with in the past. The people on meetup are the ones I spend the most time with, and I've also re-acquainted myself with some lovely people on there who I hadn't seen in a while. One of them rightly said that we are a bunch of misfits .. different ages, different personality types, different backgrounds .. but somehow I've clicked with them. I used to think that my closest friends would have to be 'spiritual', and whilst I do also have some very good friends who are also interested in the spiritual journey, the meetup group came together because people just wanted to enjoy good social events and spend time with other decent people and build friendships. Just because you're spiritual or religious, does not mean all your friends have to be the same type - an easy trap to fall into. Perhaps, if you look outside the box a bit, you may find some very rewarding friendships. There are some good people out there.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Hello blog .. sorry if you have felt neglected

It's been ages since I published a blog post. Four months, in fact. There were times when I tried to start a post, but the inspiration was not there to complete it. It kind of felt like the right thing to take a bit of a break from blogging.

Do I have any new revelations or profound insights? Well, not really. I've been taking a bit of time to find myself and go within. I am settled in a new job which is going well, which means a bit more of a routine, and have also been spending more time with some friends who I really have connected with. Recently, I have been exploring the wonderful Yorkshire landscape, and feel blessed that I finally feel like I have found my home in Huddersfield.
Yeah, like this beautiful scene on the Yorkshire moors.
I have to say, my inspiration for writing is still a little dry. Like I don't really know what to say. Maybe I will just have to be patient.

But anyhow, what have I learnt during the last few months .. well, life is certainly not always easy. I am really starting to grasp the meaning of true acceptance .. that is, accepting that you have 'difficult' aspects of your personality, thought patterns you may not like, issues that you wish could be solved. Often, the problem is not the situation itself, but our reaction to it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't want things to change, but allowing things to be as they are, in this moment, is a step towards more peace and freedom. The spiritual teacher Jeff Foster is very good at talking about this whole topic .. check him out.

Anyways, maybe I'll get back into more regular blogging soon. I honestly don't know yet. If anyone has any sensible suggestions for a topic, I'm all ears :)

Until later.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Why I talk about the things I do

I don't mind looking a bit stupid either ..
You may have noticed I sometimes talk about topics that are not often discussed, particularly amongst guys. I don't see myself as particularly special for this - anyone who's been through as much as I have would find it pretty easy.

I aim to raise a bit more awareness of issues that men do face, but are often too scared to talk about, for fear of appearing weak or because they can't get past society's stereotypes of what men are supposed to be.

I say - fuck society and be yourself.

Also, some men need help. It's very easy to find a website or coaching service which is all about empowering women. I haven't yet seen anything similar for men. Men do seem to have been a bit left astray, and it isn't helpful for society to have so many men who lack purpose or a sense of who they are. Whilst women have been treated disgracefully over history, and sadly still are in certain cultures, this doesn't mean that all men are bastards. And anyone who thinks that men aren't discriminated in any way should try being in my shoes for a year - it's not easy being a highly sensitive person, but even more so when you're a man.

It's time this stupid macho culture is started to be put in this place. It's time that men and women stopped fighting against each other, and it's time that people started to be their true selves. In my country, it is an absolute disgrace what this monstrosity of a government are trying to do to people. Let's not kid ourselves, the likes of Cameron, Duncan Smith, Osborne and Hunt are very nasty, malicious people without a shred of compassion or humanity. But perhaps this will be the start of a wake up call. The system as it is, is very outdated, and it will take big change for this country to be truly great again. I am hoping that people will wake up and start to speak out against injustice, and not let the greedy people at the top walk all over them without a fight.

But it's important to talk about the issues that people are scared to talk about - so many people have emotions that are buried beneath the surface. The things that people fear to talk about are the exact same things that will keep people from living their best life.

So this is some of the reasons why I don't mind talking about some uncomfortable topics.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Rejection .. let's talk about it

Image courtesy of Flickr
There doesn't seem to be much talk about this subject in the self-help or spiritual communities. Perhaps because (a) People are told to 'man up' and get over their fears, by others who have not been through the same thing or (b) Rejected people go into victim mode and don't do anything to improve their lives.

Neither outlook is helpful, but rejection is not a subject that should be ignored. Some people are badly affected by rejection, and it's not something that you can just get over. To an extent, the fear of rejection affects most people, but in some cases, it can be completely paralysing and prevent people from living a fulfilling and successful life.

It is essential to be accepted by your peers and loved by your family during childhood. To be rejected in childhood is emotionally devastating, and I don't think you realise just how much until you get a fair bit older. For those who don't know, I was very, shall we say 'different' as a child, and something of an outsider. I hardly spoke to anyone, and was not very popular. Subconscious beliefs that I was unlovable and a reject formed in my mind, and left me with a fear of rejection which has dogged me most of my life.

An obvious example of this fear is in a romantic relationship context - rejection in romance became absolutely devastating to my ego, so much so that I would not tell someone how I felt. But fear of rejection is seldom limited to one area of life. The prospect of being rejected by a book publisher, for example, might be hard for me to deal with.

If you've ever dealt with a really deep, paralysing fear of being rejected - I mean a fair bit worse than the average person - you'll know it's not easy to shift it. As much as you might want to overcome it, the subconscious fears lurk in the background and prevent you from taking action.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Further thoughts about relationship struggles .. and tips from what I've learnt about myself and life

One thing that us guys never seem to talk about much is the kind of challenges men face in the dating and relationships department .. and guys can also find it difficult to look within as to what is causing their issues.

When you have certain personality characteristics, and are picky as to what you want, and the rules of relationships appear, on the surface, to be a certain way, it can be very tempting just to give up and resolve to be single and happy. But something still pulls at you that says 'Don't give up.' 

This is kind of my experience. When you're a guy that is introverted, still quite shy at times (although not so much now), and finds it difficult to take the initiative in anything that involves other people, that puts you at a big disadvantage when it comes to romance. Tradition has always said that men should make the first move - and, even though things are starting to change, it is definitely harder to find a relationship when you're wired this way if you're a man, than if you're a woman. 

I am more or less coming to terms with 'whatever will be, will be', and trusting that I'm in the right place at the right time, and will meet the right people at the right time. That doesn't mean to say I don't have my moments. I honestly wouldn't wish my struggles in relationships (or the lack of them) on anyone - but I am slowly coming to see that, perhaps, this is one of the ways in which my soul has chosen its life plan. 

I totally get that women find it difficult to help initiate relationships considering how things have been, and there are men that believe that it's 'manly' to take the initiative. I'm not for one moment suggesting that the tables should be turned and women should always take the initiative, but I honestly think that a lot of men would appreciate it if we got a little more help. It might also mean that women stand a bit more of a chance of finding a decent guy - because the 'bad' guys possibly find it a bit easier to approach a woman. It can be slightly soul destroying to send messages on dating sites and never get any replies - although you have to stay as detached to outcomes as possible. And I reckon there are probably more guys than you'd think that struggle with finding a suitable partner, and there is a sad lack of resources to help in these situations.

Here are some (hopefully) helpful pointers for people who struggle in romance.


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