Sexual transmutation and true power

Sexual transmutation, true power

Today I want to expound on my recent experiences with overcoming porn addiction and my growing fascination with the concept of semen conservation. Sexual transmutation is a force to be reckoned with.

Semen retention: Conserving the life force

It’s been “in” for the last few decades to say that any amount of masturbation is healthy and normal. On top of that, pornography, however degrading and hardcore, seems to have gotten a free pass as well.

In my own experience, and many others’, this is just not the case, or at least vastly overstated.

I’ve told snippets of my story in previous articles, but let’s dive a little deeper today.

When I was about eleven, I found a porno magazine in my parents bedroom. That was the first time I had ever been exposed to sexual material. I was understandably fascinated with all the boobs and butts.

Fast forward a few years, and I had begun to search for sexually explicit material online. When I got my first PC at age fourteen, that’s when the wheels really started turning.

My obsession with porn became unstoppable. Ever more frequently, for ever longer periods of time I would lock myself in my room and watch ever more shocking stuff that no fourteen-year-old should ever have free access to.

Let’s fast forward a few more years: at age eighteen, after years of crippling social anxiety, I lost my virginity. She was a nice girl, and I liked her, but I found myself incapable of any true intimacy.

I had become emotionally crippled as well.

My idea of sex (and hers as well) were reenactments of what we’d seen in porn. As you may know if you have any sexual experience, porn is probably the worst sex-education available.

This is incredibly personal, but I feel it needs to be said. This sh*t needs to be talked about.

I feel guilty about the way I treated my first girlfriend. But then again I was young and incredibly stupid. And so was she, to be honest. I forgive myself. All people are deserving of respect, and sexuality is where respect is needed the most.

In school I’d received lip service about “how to have sex”, you know, gruesomely graphic depictions of all the different venereal diseases, the teenage pregnancy scares, and of course the “learning stuff from porn is totally fine because then your parent’s don’t have to talk to you about this stuff” bit.

What’s wrong?

There are many things wrong in modern society. Our collective sexual shame is probably at the top of the list of societal woes.

You may think I’m being overly dramatic, but I’ve thought about this carefully.

Sex is the prime imperative of ALL human beings. No matter how we try to fluff it up, or distill it, sex is our most basic, primal urge.

On top of that, sexual energy is immensely powerful. Sex (or lack thereof) starts wars. It builds cities. It creates other human beings.

Sexual energy is the life force made manifest.

It’s way more important than the media makes it out to be. In fact, it’s as if the media purposely depicts sexuality as something trivial and funny, or sometimes as something that’s just in the way or even downright disgusting.

We think of ourselves as being sexually free, more sexually mature than our forebears, with all the sex on TV, billboards, online. It’s everywhere, but still we can’t seem to actually talk about it like human beings.

Parents don’t tell their children about it. Couples don’t talk to each other about it.

This is because the endless stream of smut all around us is a result of our sexual shame. As a culture, we’ve been inundated with a toxic shame towards all things sexual. Children are shamed for enjoying their genitals.

Guys slither off into a bathroom stall with their iPhones to jack off to porn, but they try to make absolutely sure that nobody catches them. Even though everyone knows, because they do it themselves.

Healthy sexuality is an absolute exception.

As an aside, I’ve been having a pretty tenacious thought lately. Or maybe more of a question to myself. It sounds like this:

Why do I want to write about this stuff?

I’ve been writing about all kinds of really personal stuff, like pornography addiction,  depression, anxiety, illness.

The stuff pertaining to sexuality is particularly delicate. I think it’s all a matter of expression.

I seem to find some kind of catharsis in expressing the ideas going through my head, by channeling out the insights and stuff I’ve learned, especially within the last few years.

Releasing the pressure

Before I started this blog, it felt like all this stuff I’ve been learning was about to make my head explode, and I believe the main reason is that I had no idea about any of this stuff. I used to be so painfully unaware and ignorant of life, health and prosperity that it felt like everything had started going wrong.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that, along with just wanting to empty my head of all this constant flux of ideas, I also feel an obligation to try to get this info out to as many people as possible.

Besides, self-expression is the ultimate way of working through toxic shame, like the sexual shame I discussed above.

I want to do my best to make sure that others won’t have to suffer as needlessly as I did. It sounds impossible, but I think that with small steps and big goals, at the very least I’ll manage to reach a few lost souls.

And you know, that will make me happy.

An extended brain

Let’s just think of this website as an extension of my brain and get on with it.

Let’s move away from the rant on society’s faults.

Today is day 40 since I last looked at porn, and day 16 since I ejaculated. I aim to reach 90 days of no PMO, meaning no porn, masturbation or orgasm. And then, if I still feel good, I’m going to continue.

You know, five years ago, if I had met my past self and told him to stop masturbating to porn, he would have looked at me funny, laughed, and brushed it off. Inside, he would have thought I was a prude, some kind of bible-thumper or puritan, or just completely crazy.

I can assure you, I’m as rational as I’ve ever been. I’ve never seen anything as clearly as this:

Sexual energy is the source of vitality, health, and strength.

Semen is the physical manifestation of this energy. By constantly seeking empty pleasure through porn and fantasy and ejaculating again and again, I deplete this energy.

I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety, lethargy and weakness my entire adult life. The last few weeks, I feel as though I’ve regained that youthful energy I thought I had lost forever.

This is no laughing matter. I’ve discovered that this is the difference between a life of doing awesome sh*t every day, becoming the most powerful version of a man that I can possibly become, and living life as a sheep, or worse yet, a vegetable. This is the concept of sexual transmutation.

If I don’t develop my own life force, someone else will simply submit me to their own.

A dog-eat-dog world

When it comes down to it, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Not that the outside world is particularly malevolent. It’s just the way things are. As they say, nature abhors a vacuum, and will strive to achieve balance. The high must tower over the low, the heavy must hold down the light, and the strong must dominate the weak. It sound harsh, but it’s a law of nature. Where there is lack of motivation and energy, an outside source of these things will seek to gain control. This is where sexual transmutation comes in.

If you fall off a 30 meter high cliff, you’ll probably die. Does that mean that gravity is evil?

If a hungry tiger catches you unawares, you’ll probably get eaten. Does that mean that tigers are inherently evil?

We may find some particular aspects of reality to be unpleasant or even painful. But what causes us most suffering of all is when we attempt to deny the natural laws that govern us.

We often say that in a perfect world things would be different, but this world is perfect. Everything is in balance, and nothing is superfluous.

So, back to the life force.

Amassing creative energy through transmutation

There have been a few times in my life before this where I’ve unknowingly conserved massive amounts of sexual energy, with massive consequences. More often than not, because of my lack of awareness and control, these consequences were quite negative, like outbursts of anger, or destructive habits and tendencies.

However, some things also went massively well. For example, I picked up an electric guitar for the first time at age 15 and within a couple of years I was soloing like Eddy Van Halen and Slash. I was crushing it at the gym, getting buff and ripped, and my energy for going to parties and social events was seemingly limitless. Sexual transmutation drives men to do awesome things.

One thing I haven’t mentioned here, is that for whatever unknown reason, I never ejaculated before the age of eighteen. Even though I was watching a lot of porn at that time, I just never learned how to orgasm, somehow. That means I had three years of massive sexual transmutation, at the time of peak sexual activity for young men. It wasn’t until I first had sex that I ever ejaculated, and after that I quickly learned to orgasm by myself.

The downfall and discovery of sexual transmutation

In many ways, I feel incredibly lucky for having experienced this, even if just by some fluke. I know of many guys who started jerking off at age twelve and were probably cumming daily until the present day. It gave me perspective, even though in the years following my teens everything seemed to go downhill sexually for a long time.

So now that I’ve shared my incredibly personal history, let’s examine the true power of abstinence from ejaculation, especially when combined with methods of sexual transmutation.

There’s a great post that I’ll share here, about men throughout history who practiced semen retention and sexual transmutation. To name a few, Steve Jobs, Muhammad Ali, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Nikola Tesla, Mike Tyson. We may or may not agree with the philosophies of these men, and we may not support decisions they made throughout their lives, but one thing is for certain: these men had power.

I believe that a massive buildup of sexual energy (sexual transmutation) is a prerequisite for massive success. At least, for massive power. Some people may come into wealth through shear luck and good fortune, but power must be carefully cultivated. Nobody conquers new lands, develops massive scientific breakthroughs, or changes the world in any meaningful way except by developing their vital, creative energies.

There may be many ways of doing this, but I believe it all comes down to this simple truth: Sexual energy can be transformed into a titanic creative force, if properly cultivated.

The dark side – When we fail to transmute sexual energy

I also believe, however, that a surplus of sexual energy, when not properly handled or understood, also becomes a vastly destructive force. We see this in the cases of tyrants and dictators, who, while obviously very powerful, are intent on destruction, misery, and their own self interest, as opposed to those saints who work for the benefit of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

There is a definite polarity in working with this seminal energy. It can tend toward the good, but it can quite easily move in the opposite direction, and become absolute evil. This is just what we have to work with. The key to developing this power in a wholesome way, beneficial to yourself and all of humanity, is developing awareness.

Awareness can guide this sexual transmutation. In the absence of strong and developed awareness, the energy will control you. This is why I’ve been meditating more than ever during this transformation. I’ve been doing visualisations of energy, seeing the sex energy pulsating within me, traveling up my spine and conserved in my solar plexus. This seems to be a lot more stable than keeping it in the default sacral chakra. I’ve also been doing a lot of simple mindfulness meditation, and vipassana.

All of this has been incredibly helpful, because as anybody who’s taken on the challenge of semen retention can tell you, it can be a roller coaster. The energy often surprises you.

I’ll end this here. I wish you great luck on your journey, reach out to me if you want to talk more about this.

3 ways to supercharge your self-discipline (that may surprise you)

In recent years, I’ve managed to become very disciplined in my life.

If there’s something that needs doing, I rarely procrastinate any more.

I don’t call in sick due to laziness or lethargy, I don’t skip workouts, I don’t skip meditation sessions.

I still want to improve my discipline even more in the coming weeks, months, and years, but I’m pretty happy with my progress so far.

In fact, just yesterday I was comparing my way of thinking with today’s, and it’s just amazing.

And to be honest, I know exactly what made the most difference in building this habit of discipline.

Here are the three things, in reverse order of importance, that I’ve done to become more disciplined in the last few years:

1. Decide to do everything as well as you possibly can

When I started to strive for excellence in all aspects of my life, meaning not only the things I found important, but also menial, tedious, and boring things like doing the dishes, hanging up laundry, cleaning toilets, sweeping floors, clipping toenails, everything.

What this really implies is that you put your full attention on whatever it is you need to do right now.

Another name for this concept?

Mindfulness.

When I started to become mindful of even the least exciting activities in my life, and attempting to do them as well as I could, a funny thing happened:

I started getting better results with the things that were actually most enjoyable and most important in my life.

I wasn’t really expecting that to happen, to be honest, so as you can imagine I was pretty thrilled with the results. And I still am.

So apply yourself fully to whatever is at hand, even if it’s dirty work, even if you wish you were doing something else. Do it as well as you can and that discipline will seep into all aspects of your life.

2. Start a journal

This may not seem very related to developing stronger discipline, but in fact it’s one of the most effective methods I’ve discovered for doing just that.

What happens when you start a journal, at first, is nothing comes out.

You try to write, you may even sincerely want write, but you just don’t know what to write.

I know that’s what happened when I started keeping a journal.

There was a definite learning curve, to be sure, but once the journaling wheel starts rolling there’s no stopping it.

In my life, keeping a journal has become a self-perpetuating entity. What I mean by that is that it’s become so instrumental to keeping my life on track that stopping is no longer an option.

Quitting journaling would be paramount to quitting life at this point.

And we can’t have that.

So what should you write about?

Well, dig in there. Start by writing just what you’re thinking. Or what you think you’re thinking. Do that for a full page, even two.

Now you’ve gotten in the groove, start figuring out what’s weighing down on you.

Everyone, at all points in life, will have some problems or issues that need resolving, or aspects of themselves or their relationships that need improving. Without that, life would be just about meaningless.

But the thing is, if you don’t know what’s wrong, how can you possibly expect to know what needs to be done?

You see, in many cases, procrastination is simply a result of not knowing what needs to be done or why it should be done in the first place.

It’s been many years since I started keeping a journal, and I’ve kept many kinds. Voice recorders, digital journals, and plain old paper.

They all work, and each has its advantages.

Although it’s been a long time since I started, I still clearly remember many instances where I solved major life issues (or at least figured out what needed to be done, which is half the battle) just by writing about it enough.

Relationships that needed ending, bad habits that needed to be rooted out, thought patterns that needed optimizing or disintegration.

Journaling is the best way I’ve found for life optimization.

It’s like defragmenting your mind. Like alphabetizing the file cabinet of your brain.

It let’s you discover what’s important and what’s not, and what needs letting go, and what needs letting in.

So find 15 minutes every day to write down what’s going through your mind, and reap the benefits.

3. Daily meditation

I left meditation until last because it’s the habit that has most improved my discipline in the last five years.

If you only take one thing to heart from this article, let it be this: Meditation can open doors in your life, the existence of which you cannot conceive.

If you apply yourself to meditating every morning and every evening, all aspects of your life will become clearer.

The discipline required to sit down, even for as little as ten minutes, and follow your breath or your bodily sensations, is immense. Especially if you haven’t done it before.

But it becomes easier with time.

And you will find that discipline in all other areas will also become easier.

You see, meditation is, in part, an exercise in discipline.

Over time, as you meditate more, you’ll want to meditate even more.

And in my experience, the more you meditate (at least up until the 2 hours daily mark), the more your discipline will develop.

Meditation is sometimes uncomfortable or painful and often mind-numbingly boring, although the deeper you go, the more interesting it becomes.

My point is, the discipline you need to exercise to consistently sit down and subject yourself to pain and boredom is immense, but the results will speak for themself.

Start a habit of daily meditation today. Start with five minutes, and work yourself up from there.

It’s not rocket science, it’s actually very simple.

Just sit down and observe. Observe your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, without engaging or judging.

Or follow your breath. There are tons of great articles and guided meditations out there for free, so there’s no excuse not to start.

Believe me, it will be the best change you ever make in your life.

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Remind me to forget who I am

The fog has (mostly) lifted. The brain fog that is. I feel a lot better now.

I’m working as a ranger in a national park in the north of Iceland this summer, and I just spent five nights taking care of a campsite in the highlands.

No internet, hardly any mobile coverage at all for that matter.

Just me, some books, a few tired hikers and my thoughts. Not to mention spectacular nature.

I’ve been thinking of getting rid of my smart phone and getting a more basic mobile. Old school with buttons and all.

I feel like I’ve gotten stuck in the web, with the cloud constantly calling for my attention.

That’s a problem, because my attention is incredibly valuable to me, and more often than not whatever’s waiting for me online isn’t very important.

Getting some time off, detoxing if you will, from constant stimulation is essential to seeing the problem for what it is.

It’s like this: a fish doesn’t know it’s in water until it somehow strands on dry land. And then it will probably die, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

When I’m saturated in all kinds of online stimulation, watching videos, reading articles, receiving messages, day in day out every day, I start to forget that there’s more to life. And then I start getting anxious.

It’s weird how we forget things that seem so unforgettable. Like in the past when I’ve experienced glimpses of true reality, enlightenment or awakening, and I think “wow, my life is forever changed!”, it’s only partly true.

It’s true in the sense that having experienced that, I’ll probably make some changes, re-adjust my priorities and so on, but then at some point I’ll forget why I made those changes in the first place.

Then later on I’ll remember again or experience something even more profound. It’s a sort of cycle of forgetting and remembering.

Instead of fighting this, I’ve been working on acceptance. Accepting that this cycle may just be exactly what’s needed for realization, actualization. Life is expansion and contraction, up and down, inside and out. That’s what everything does, and maybe it’s not a problem at all.

Contraction allows expansion, so let it be.

Much love.

Dimensional dysfunction – My evolving OBE experiment

In the last month or so I’ve been reading about and experimenting with OBE (out-of-body experiences), AKA astral projection.

Strange stuff. I’ve had some weird experiences so far, but as of yet I haven’t been able to project. If you wanna know what the hell I’m talking about click here.

So what have my results been? Well, I’ve taught myself to relax very deeply, which is very pleasant to be honest.

Deep relaxation is supposed to be a cornerstone for achieving the OBE state.

Multiple times now I’ve started experiencing projection related phenomena while or after doing these relaxation exercises, like a very heavy feeling in the body, vibrations, rapid heart beat, auditory and visual hallucinations, but no success with actually having my consciousness exit my physical body.

There was one instance especially where I was sure I was on the verge of projecting.

I had been lying flat on my back without moving for about 40 minutes, focusing on relaxation and sort of encouraging the vibrations to spread throughout my body, when quite suddenly everything became way more intense.

I started to feel very heavy, my heart started pounding, I started hearing voices, I felt a strong tingling or vibrating sensation all throughout my body and I started seeing strange visuals behind closed eyelids. The visuals were like falling through a colorful, swirling tunnel or wormhole or something.

It was all very strange and I became very excited and thought ‘This is IT! This is IT!’ and I opened my eyes. I was still lying in my bed, certainly still in the physical, and all the sensations faded away. I couldn’t help feeling a bit bummed.

I’m pretty sure I just opened my eyes too soon, if I had allowed what was happening to keep happening, maybe something would have happened.

Frankly, after that I became a bit discouraged for some reason. It’s weird, because I feel like I came very close to the goal but somehow stopped myself short.

Instead of seeing it as a sign of major progress, it felt more like a failure. I was busy walking the Camino de Santiago at that time, and I kind of stopped trying after this episode, I’m sorry to say.

I started to focus more on lucid dreams again, and I’ve had some minor success with that in the last few weeks. Now that I’m back home I want to start working on the astral projection stuff again.

I want to combine it with lucid dream work, as I’ve learned that many skills necessary for the one are also immensely useful in the other.

Stuff like visualization, relaxation, prospective and retrospective memory, and concentration all seem to play a major part in both.

I already have a little experience on and off with dream work, and I’ve had some major success with it in the past, including one particularly clear and powerful lucid dream that sort of redefined my view of the world as a young adult.

I’ll write an in-depth post on my experience with lucid dreams at some point.

Suffice it to say, I’m ready to do some real work on OBEs and dreams in the coming weeks and months.

This is an area of spiritual discipline that I find incredibly interesting and I’m sure there are endless opportunities for growth and learning hidden within (and outside) the unconscious mind.

I’ll be writing a lot more on this topic in coming days. For now I’m still getting my mind to accept the fact that I’m no longer walking 30 km a day, that I’m back home in Iceland.

Much love, until next time.

Staying sane in an insane world

I’ve been in kind of a fog recently. I guess you could call it brain-fog, but it’s not quite that bad though. It’s more like a state of anticipation, on the verge of being anxiety. I feel like I haven’t been thinking clearly.

I’ve been very busy planning my pilgrimage on the way of St. James, figuring out what I need to take with me, what I should leave behind, and constantly reassuring myself.

Doubt and fear have been making regular appearances in my mind in the last few weeks. I’m no longer fully in the wonderful state of bliss I experienced after my last mushroom trip, although the experience was very helpful for me to overcome the residual depression of my midnight of the soul.

After that beautiful trip I felt invincible, fully at peace and present, for a whole month. Much of that bliss can be attributed to the fact that I started to meditate for two hours every day and writing many pages in my journal daily. I also started this blog after some magnificent revelations, and it continues to give me a sense of purpose and happiness.

However, after a few weeks I felt that wonderfully peaceful feeling starting to fade, as I became immersed in everyday life once more. The feeling never faded completely, and with mindfulness I’m able to reconnect to it without much hassle, but it takes some effort. And that’s fine. Life would be boring if there weren’t ups and downs.

One thing I learned in the last few weeks, a sort of epiphany, was that as life starts to get more stressful, the first things to be thrown overboard tend to be our most nourishing activities.

For example, when all the ‘important’ stuff starts to pile up, like having to pay rent, or looking for work, or traveling to my grandparents for my granddad’s 87th birthday, the things I started to cut down on to make the time for it were meditation, journaling and reading.

Now, writing it out like this makes me feel a bit ridiculous, because I know from bitter experience what happens when I don’t give myself the time I need to do these nourishing activities. It happens slowly, but it’s also insidious. Our energy slowly drains, and having removed the things that normally replenish it, it just keeps draining.

This becomes dangerous. Literally. It’s called burnout. In my own life, it came to the point of suicidal thoughts. Granted, that was after a horrific illness had shredded me down to a shadow of my former self (makes me sound like Voldemort). It’s a very real thing, and way worse than you think if you haven’t experienced it for yourself.

What I’ve been working on today is figuring out what exactly drains my energy, and what replenishes it. We can split our day into two rough categories, plus and minus.

For me, my morning might look something like this:

Wake up, get a glass of water and drink it – PLUS

Sit down for an hour meditation session – PLUS

Have a cup of organic black tea – PLUS

So far so good right? Starting the day off like this is wonderful, and gives you the energy you need to tackle the less attractive things you need to do. But what if it looks more like this.

Wake up to the sound of my phone ringing – MINUS

Talk to a pushy salesman on the phone, trying to hang up – MINUS

Realize I don’t have time to meditate any more, or have tea – MINUS MINUS

Rush to school/work – MINUS

Shitty. This happens. We try to plan our day, to make it the way we want it to be, but sometimes something comes up, something doesn’t go the way we expected, or we just oversleep. Does that actually have to ruin our entire day though? I don’t believe so.

We have a tendency to manifest our day as a continuation of the way it started. What I mean is that if we have a shitty morning, we project that shittiness out onto the rest of our day.

In the second example, I can a) go to school, work all day on minus activities, then go home exhausted and watch TV or whatever, or I can b) go to school, work on minus activities but taking frequent breaks for mindful contemplation, to make up for my lack of morning meditation, and even go home early to have time to chill out and have a cup of tea.

Sometimes we feel like something requires our full attention, so much attention that we can’t afford to do the things we enjoy and give us meaning. But nothing is that important. Would I lose my job to keep my sanity? Absolutely. It’s all a question of priorities. I know it’s hard to put yourself first, but it is a choice.

After experiencing burnout first hand, I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience, and it’s a hole that’s difficult to get out of. For your own sake, make the decision now to put yourself, your energy, your love and joy and awareness before all else.

Until next time, much love.

 

 

Are you really self-aware?

The standard narrative has us believe that self-awareness goes hand-in-hand with being human, but how much of the time are we really self-aware?

In the last few weeks, I’ve been working on becoming mindful in every day life. What repeatedly surprises me is how much of my day is completely automatic.

From the way I stumble out of bed in the morning (well, actually I sleep on the floor now, but that’s a story for another day), to the way I get dressed, to the way I brush my teeth in the evening before bed.

All of this has become automated from years of repetition, and that’s well and good, to be honest. It saves me the energy of having to control every muscle in every instant.

But sometimes it becomes harmful. Negative patterns of behavior, like negative thinking, repressing emotions, addiction and compulsion are just as easy to imprint as positive patterns. For example, a mindfulness project of mine these last weeks has been to improve my posture, especially the way I carry my shoulders.

It amazes me how many times in the day I suddenly realize that I’ve tensed up my upper back, pulling my shoulders to my ears or rounding them forward. When I notice, I remind myself that this isn’t a healthy way to sit or stand, and I correct it consciously. Those moments of sudden awareness of my posture are glimpses of true self-awareness. And that implies that the rest of the time, I’m not actually aware, or at least not fully aware.

Mindfulness is the key to correcting any and all harmful behavior and compulsions, but realizing when you’re mindful and when you’re not is the tricky part.

The way I see it, the only time we’re truly self-aware is when we’re completely and utterly here, now. At the mercy of the present.

Thinking is not indicative of self-awareness, unless you’re actually aware of your thoughts as the come and go.

Movement is not indicative of self-awareness, unless you’re actually aware of the sensory input your body is picking up from its surroundings.

Saying ‘My name is Tolli and I live in Iceland’ is a script that I’ve repeated a million times, and thus is not indicative of self-awareness.

Only when I actually am in the process of being Tolli from Iceland, am I truly self-aware. And in those moments of clarity and presence, my name and nationality are meaningless. My past and future is irrelevant.

All I have is now. When I become truly present, I realize that the present moment is all there is.

Memory is fickle. Prediction is unreliable. Now is where it’s at. The past and future are concepts. They aren’t real, and they cannot be experienced.

They feel real when we think of them, but we can only think of them in the present moment. Because that’s where we all are, and that’s where we’ve always been.

So now that we see that here, now is all there is, we can deduce that ‘not being in the now’ actually means thinking of past or future events instead of experiencing what is happening around and within us. B

eing outside of the present moment is literally impossible. Even if by some incredible scientific breakthrough a person manages to travel to a different time period, that will become his or her present moment. But I digress.

My goal in life is to become fully self-aware. I want all my behavior to be fully conscious. Conscious thoughts, words, actions.

Compulsion has no place in the life of a fully conscious human being, nor does addiction or depression. I want to take full responsibility for my entire existence.

Consciously accepting and embracing the good and the bad. Consciously deciding to feel love and gratitude in every moment.

Living a life of kindness and compassion. All this will come with increased self-awareness, as it has for countless others.

Much love to you all, until next time.

Your habits will make or break you

Motivation is fleeting, habits are solid.

We all have habits. Unfortunately, most peoples daily habits are highly arbitrary. I know mine used to be.

Anything can become a habit.

If you think negative thoughts every day, soon enough it will become a habit. If you never miss a day of brushing your teeth, that too will become a strong habit. If you drink a liter of water first thing in the morning, every morning, a habit will form.

The human mechanism is incredibly complex. There are so many different ways to move and think, so many different things to do. So a part of our brain power goes into discerning what actions we need to do most frequently, and allows us to sort of set it on autopilot.

That’s what allows us to drive a car without consciously thinking about it, or sing in the shower. It’s way more efficient that way, because conscious action takes effort.

The brain makes it easier for us to do those things that we do a lot. That’s why it’s easy to brush your teeth with your right hand and almost impossible to use your left. Switching hands like that will require a conscious effort on your part.

But it also becomes easier to actually make the decision to brush our teeth, as long as we’ve done it every day for the last three years.

This is all pretty common knowledge. We’ve all heard of the notorious 21 days required to instill a habit. But that misses a crucial aspect of habit building, which is reward. You can poke your hand with a needle for 21 days and be absolutely ready to drop the habit the next day, because there’s no inherent reward in that action.

The most powerful thing you can do when trying to build any positive habit, is to clearly discern what the reward will be. Visualize it, make it so that every time you do the action, you see yourself reaping the inevitable rewards.

Exercise is a good example. I like calisthenics, or body weight exercises. When I’m actually in the middle of doing the exercises themselves, I’m normally not enjoying myself too much. But I keep the image of a stronger, healthier version of myself in my mind the whole time. And it pushes me through the times when I have little motivation.

Or going out for a run. Sometimes I just don’t feel like it, but when I weigh the rewards, like the wonderful feeling of runner’s high, or being out in nature, or better sleep from burning off excess energy, I go out anyway.

In my experience, the most difficult habits to cultivate are the habits with the most intangible benefits, like meditation or keeping a journal. Although we’ve all heard of the increased focus and calm tranquility from daily meditation, it’s hard to imagine the benefits when you haven’t actually experienced them.

What worked for me was to break those habits down to the smallest possible amount of work. So with meditation, I would decide to meditate for just 5 or 10 minutes at a time, once a day. It’s such a short amount of time that you’ll only experience a tiny fraction of the possible benefits, but at least you’ll experience something.

With journaling, you would start with a paragraph a day. Or even just a sentence. Just to get a feel for it, and for the possibilities hidden within that particular action. Sooner or later you’ll start to actually want to write more and more. I’m up to 3-4 pages a day, and I’m not sick of it yet!

That’s the real starting point. You really need to know where a habit will take you before you can convince yourself to go all in.

That’s all well and good, but what about our bad habits?

Those are more tricky to navigate. Sometimes they’re so subtle that you won’t even notice them at all before someone points them out to you.

I used to have incredibly negative thought patterns. Pure habit. As far as I knew, everybody’s thoughts were negative like mine. Well, that was a major misconception. Many people think negative thoughts habitually, but many more think positively. And it’s a way more enjoyable way of life.

We may not always be able to control the thoughts that come up in our minds, but we can choose which thoughts to cultivate. We can choose where we direct our attention.

Awareness is the first step to overcoming a bad habit. If you don’t know that you have a bad habit, there’s no way to break it.

Of course, there is a big difference between a bad habit and an addiction. Quitting nose-picking is quite a different beast from quitting heroin. Addictions most often have an intense biochemical factor.

But breaking a habit of negative thought patterns for example, doesn’t have to be too much of a challenge. Recognizing the habit is half the battle.

In the case of negative thoughts, what was most beneficial for me was replacing the negative patterns with positive ones. Enter affirmations. That’s all affirmations really are, replacement thought patterns.

The only reason negative thoughts have such a hold on the mind is because of repetition. You’ve repeated the action of cultivating negative thoughts so much that it’s become like brushing your teeth: automatic.

So it stands to reason that if you allow yourself to repeat positive thoughts often enough, the will eventually replace the negative ones. I urge you to try it.

Awareness is the most important ingredient for building habits consciously. The power of awareness really can’t be overstated. Awareness is the difference between a human being and a machine.

Cultivate your awareness, expand it, and be grateful for this incredible opportunity to reach for the stars.

Much love.