Self Awareness [Get The Life You Want: Part 3]

This is part 3 in the series ‘Get The Life You Want.’  Part 1 can be found here

800px-UlvikfjordMountainsPanorama

A few months back i decided to write a book documenting my journey to my dream life, and helping others to accomplish their dreams.  It is not finished yet, but I have decided to start publishing it a few paragraphs at a time as a blog series.

The real work starts here.  If you are determined to live your dream life, you need to know yourself inside and out.  You need to understand your thoughts, feelings, and desires; what created them, and what triggers them.

Finding Your Dream

A Journey of Self awareness and Self Discovery

This can be scary.  You’ll have to face parts of your past, and parts of yourself that have been blocked off from recollection.  You will have to revisit painful memories, relive losses, and sit with your suffering.  It is not going to be easy.  In fact it may be the hardest thing you ever do.  However, even if you had no interest in finding and realizing your dream, either for your own satisfaction or for the good of humanity, truly knowing yourself is essential to your psychological health and well-being.

The first step is to become an observer of your own life; your own actions; your own emotions; your own reactions.  Imagine as if you are something separate from your body, and separate from your mind, and separate from your thoughts.  Something that does not do, say, or think anything.  It only watches.  And it never judges.  It does not have a moral compass, and does not see good and evil.  It only sees things for what they are.  Be the observer, and watch as you live your life.  Watch as you interact with your loved ones, with your co-workers, and with strangers.  Listen to what you say.  Notice how you feel.  At least once a day, sit down in a quiet place, close your eyes, and breath.  Let the thoughts come like waves on the beach.  as they show up, acknowledge them, and release them.  Realize that every thought and feeling that you have is a normal thought and feeling for a human being.  If it was not a normal thought or feeling for a human to have, you would not be thinking or feeling it.

If you have never practiced self awareness, do this for at least a week before moving on to part 4.

Top Ten John Muir Quotes

Händkakk_2014I love inspirational and thought provoking quotes.  I love when a complex, intricate, gargantuan subject or idea can be represented with not so many words.  They’re easy to find (thanks to the internet) They’re diverse and plentiful, and they draw me in like a moth to a fortune cookie

This morning, I am feeling a special affection toward the wise words of John Muir.  I’d like to have copy and pasted the entire list from Goodreads and BrainyQuote, but for the sake of brevity, I have only included ten.

10.  “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ~John Muir

9.  “As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can”.  ~John Muir

8.  “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”  ~John Muir

7.  “Going to the woods is going home.”   ~John Muir

6.  “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”  ~John Muir

5.  “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”  ~ John Muir

4.   “I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.”  ~John Muir

3.  “The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”  ~John Muir

2. Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”  ~John Muir
1.  “The power of imagination makes us infinite.”  ~John Muir
BONUS QUOTE!
I thought this one would go nicely as a tagline on my Unschooling blog Dadosaurus Rex:
“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”  ~John Muir

Bones in Common

Skull

“When I see people stopped in traffic, in the check-out lane at the store, or walking down the street, I like to visualize their bones.  It helps me remember that, no matter how different we are, deep down we are all the same.”  ~My Chiropractor

No one wants to fail.  No one wants to be miserable.  No one wants to be depressed.  No one wants to have acidic relationships.  Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have been given.  We all have dreams.  We all have vision.  We all have aspirations.  We all have a past, and we all have made decisions we regret.  We all have a spark of greatness, we all have passion, and we all have hate.  We all have secrets.  We all have scars.  Each of us is different, but we are all the same.

Never Waste an Obstacle

An obstacle does not prevent you from reaching your goal, it only changes the path you take to get there.

fallen treeAn obstacle measures what your dreams are worth

An obstacle reminds you where you are going

An obstacle gives character to your journey

An obstacle fosters growth and change

An obstacle gives perspective

“The obstacle is the path”  – Zen Proverb

Incurable Laziness

I didn’t make any specific new years resolutions this year, but I did look at the coming year as a clean slate, a new opportunity, and a fresh start.  And I have to tell you, my burst of “New Year Motivation” lasted nearly to March, which is way longer than usual.  I was getting things done around the house, keeping up with my obligations at work, and feeling good about myself in general.  I spent zero time on social media, and could rarely be found wallowing in depression and self-loathing.

Well, now its April, and here I am blogging when I am supposed to be working.  My motivation has left, and in its place is incurable laziness.  It’s making my work more difficult, making my home life more difficult, and really dragging me down emotionally.  and I just can’t seem to shake it.  I can’t seem to get back on the inspiration bus.

Part of the problem may be that I have no clear aim in life.  No ultimate goal or direction.  Or maybe its the constant nagging feeling of meaninglessness, or fear of failure.  But I’m not completely without hope, because this is just one part of a cycle I have been repeating for years, and soon enough I will be back on top, getting things done, and making stuff happen.  Another reason I am hopeful, is that I have been consistently working to  stretch out the periods of inspiration and productivity, and slowly abbreviate the lazy lump periods.

Letting Go Of Tools That No Longer Work

One of the symptoms of ADHD is a tendency to hyper-focus.  To be unable to remove one’s mind from a certain subject, and to become absolutely absorbed in it, and unable to focus on anything else.  This has both benefits and drawbacks.  One of the drawbacks is that it does not last forever.  Odds are what was enthralling a few months ago, now scarcely receives a second thought.

I am always on the lookout for a new scheme, a new method, a new mantra, or a new program to help me along on my life’s journey.  It could be anything.  A website for keeping track of tasks that need to be done; a phrase to repeat in my head when I am getting frustrated, or losing my cool.

When I find something that works, it is quite exciting.  I make quick progress, and wonder how I ever survived without my new favorite tool.  Everything starts falling into place.  Amazing.  Slowly, however, what was once joy turns to drudgery, and my miracle solution ceases to be miraculous.  I can’t really tell you exactly why this happens, but it does, and it can be quite devastating.  I have grown accustomed to the results that were once produced.  Why is the house so cluttered and messy, when I have been using my fool proof cleaning method?  Why I am constantly dropping the ball at work when I have my never-forget-a-task-again checklist?

There was a time when, to my hurt, I would force myself to keep going, to keep using a tool that is no longer working.  But over time I have discovered that it is better to be happy it worked for as long as it did, and move on.  The less time I spend in mourning, the more time I can spend developing my next big idea.

Inspiration Overload

Even as I attempt to write a blog post, I am reminded of the symptoms of my self-diagnosed combined ADHD.  There is a lot I would like share on this subject (maybe even too much) and sometimes I find it hard to get my ideas to stand in line and wait their turn.

I imagine that in my mind there are two rooms, one where ideas are born, and the other where they are processed into something that can be seen and understood by the outside world.  Between these two rooms there is a door.  For the most part, the ideas are content to stay in the first room.  They don’t even seem to notice the door, never-mind the world the lies beyond.

Oh, but if one of them happens to catch a glimpse, they all rush for the door at once, pushing and clawing, trying to force their way through.  It feels like a power-surge of inspiration, but If I am not prepared, it can end in disappointment, and frustration.  You see, only one idea can fit through the door at a time, and all the time they are struggling to be the one chosen idea, they are also growing.  My mind is filled with so many thoughts going in different directions it feels like Grand Central Station.  In desperation, I grab the idea that looks most promising, shove the others back, slam the door shut, and lock it; hoping I have made the right choice.  Other times, If I happen to have a pen and paper handy, I will write down as many of the ideas as possible, and start working on them one at a time.  If an idea isn’t thoroughly processed (or written down) in a timely manner, there is no telling if or when it will return.