Day 416: Self acceptance
Today I was reading a book that was essentially about success and becoming a successful person. A part that resonated with me was with regards to self acceptance and how many of the bad habits we acquire are based on a lack of self acceptance. I also watched a video which made a very interesting point that coincided with the aforementioned one: about how we tend to define many of the things we enjoy doing only because it is based on escaping something we do not enjoy doing – we seek out certain experiences which we have come to enjoy just because they are an escape to other experiences which we did not enjoy.

Although the book aimed to be very positive, the idea of self acceptance it was promoting was still based on some kind of self definition that was ultimately a form of self limitation (the things I’m good at v.s the things I’m not good at). The fact is that accepting yourself goes much deeper than this. We are physical beings designed with all of the gifts and endowments to do virtually anything in this reality. Within this, most of us barely realize the degree of potential that we actually have. We are part of this universe, we come from it and we exist as one with it – and yet we are so limited by our self definition that we miss that.

We are taught from an early age that we are limited, that we are not good enough, that we will not succeed, and even more, we are not given the tools required to support ourselves to realize this greatness. We are not taught our potential, our responsibility within that potential and how to use it. For this reason, daily life becomes a difficult experience – school, family, jobs, whatever – and through such experiences we find ways to compensate. This is where the bad habits are formed. This is where the false sense of self definition if formed because when our true potential cannot be realize, we will tend to compensate in others ways, in the only place that we can – in the make believe, in our imaginations.

They become ingrained and eventually it seems difficult to simply get back a place of ‘nothingness’ where we can truly begin to explore and exercise our true potential. That is what self acceptance, to me, is really all about. Stop the habits, the illusions, the belief in the idea of something ‘more’ or ‘better’ and to simply stop and ‘reset’ – to give it all up so that we can once again have the opportunity to teach ourselves new ways and realize the potential we have to develop ourselves in a way where we truly live and can navigate and direct our reality with great effectiveness.

Education is central within all of this. It is the breeding grounds for people developing a false self image and the bad habits that stem from this false self image and desire to be something ‘more’. Real potential, real power doesn’t work like this – actually it comes with a lot of responsibility – but that responsibility looks quite scary when we don’t have the proper tools to take it on. When education is misguided in this way, we have a false sense of what is right, and then what is obviously wrong looks good by comparison

It is possible to give ourselves the support and tools necessary to realize our full potential, but it starts with ‘self acceptance’ which is actually the stopping of the desire for some kind of higher experience of ourselves. On the other side of that awaits amazing things that one may not even imagine – again we really have no idea and may be astonished at what we are really capable of. You have to give in order to get, and yet you can’t give only to get. Give up a habit unconditionally and do not expect a thing. By virtue of that giving, and being determined in that giving, that which you ‘get’ is already accounted for – because it is already here, it has been here all along – we just hadn’t accepted it because as long as we are accepting that which is false about who we really are, our true selves cannot be seen, realized or understood.

Day 415: Easier said than done
This may be a bit of a long, candid ‘spur of the moment’ kind of blog as I have not written in a while – with regards to my process I have been suppressing myself and negligent towards myself and life in general – I have kept too much in and let too many things slip by without dealing with/processing things, and so it is there there is a lot of ‘buildup’ that needs to come out.

It is really amazing how easy it is to slip back into old habits, and the point that always seems to be my downfall is underestimating what I am getting into and not really taking it very seriously – going back into an old habit and sort of saying to myself – “yeah, I can handle it”. This last time it was even more deceptive because I did manage it well compared to previous times, so I was giving myself the illusion/mindfuck that I could handle it and get away with it.

What I find more amazing is the value judgments that my decisions are based on – meaning that I would actually give any form of positive value to these old habits that are really a detriment to my life, that I would not consider the massive amount of havoc that they have wreaked in my life and that I could just ignore the past that way. We all seem to be running from the past in some way or another.

When the jig is up, when the game is over, when the energy supply runs out – it is a rough experience, coming back down to earth, and this is what I set myself up for every time that I accept and allow myself to be dishonest with myself. I mentioned the absurd positive value that I would give my old habits and addictions and it is fascinating because within that, there is a kind of settling, where I try and ‘make the best with what I’m doing’ and try to find reason within that. So within the experience of coming out of it, as I am now, there are experiences of fearing letting go, like ‘this is all I have’ and there is a kind of bleak outlook on life that there is just nothing else, nothing more, nothing great ‘out there’.

From a certain perspective this is true, but that should be good news. It is good news that there is nothing ‘more out there’, nothing ‘higher’, nothing better than what is right here right now on this earth, because this is the only place that we can live, this is the only place that is real from which we could actually create something better – but that is the point, that that something better must be created. There is no such thing as magic.

It is truly a sad thing to see how we become so sad and stuck but there are solutions that require real dedication and effort. Changing is not an easy thing nor can one expect it to be given our pasts and what it is that we are trying to change. It is easy to get excited about the idea but it takes real work and that is confusing to the mind because the mind (which will just tend to want to keep you trapped in the past) just wants the good feeling it gets from the idea because then nothing ever changes.

So with this bleak outlook that came with ‘coming back down to earth’ is fascinating because in a way it reveals what is already here that I have been running from. A belief in a bleak outlook, that change is possible, that life is a difficult, awful struggle. There are thoughts of ‘what else is there?’ – where I try imagine going beyond my habits/addictions in my mind and I just dont see the point of everything – everything seems so pointless. The thought of living without energy appears awful, like its just going to be this boring drudgery without any excitement, pointless repetition – and yet this is what I am living already when I am stuck in old habits/patterns. Within this line of thinking I am totally missing and take for granted what it means to live and be alive, that I am a part of something much greater than myself. This does not mean that my individual experience is to be neglected for the benefit of the whole, it means that they are one and the same.

But funnily enough I am not actually giving up anything when I change my starting point for living because these habits are actually not selfish at all – they do not serve me at all – they weaken me and give me nothing more than a fleeting feeling to replace the gift of real life. It gets to a point where it is hard to establish what it even is that I really do like, because what I have always known of enjoyment has been a mental experience of stimulation. What about the early years of my life when I did not live this way? Where everything was just… It is funny because I have become so accustomed with being in a state of discomfort (mental stimulation) that it almost appears as if I actually like it. But it is self abuse in fact and you see manifestations of that in our world where it reaches the extent where people actually take pride in how much abuse they can take, and call themselves ‘tough’ for it.

I can’t trust that which I want, but I fear giving that up because I fear missing something that I may need, yet I am already doing that by neglecting myself/my living in place of chasing feelings. I have the ability to reason to establish what it is that I in fact need and what is best for me as all as one as equal. I fear to go beyond my desires and yet that is the only place left to go that I haven’t been before.

It is easy to say that I want change. Or is it? As saying that I want change without change actually creates a hellishly difficult living experience for myself, while actually changing – that which seems incredibly difficult as a mental experience, because the mind does not want to be let go of – makes life much better.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that there is a better or easier path than working with what is here and facing what is here

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand the potential that life has is a potential that must be LIVED – that life is to be LIVED and that no idea/feeling/mental experience will ever suffice as a way for life to be understood and lived

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that there is any form of escape in this reality and that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to justify it as being ‘fun’ or ‘to relax’ as if it were a benefit to me

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear my only real opportunities to make my life better, which are the opportunities to face myself and deal with the ‘nitty gritty’ that is here as me, others and this reality as a whole

I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to establish that I do not in fact enjoy stimulation of the mind as memories of the past, regardless of the kind of feelings they produce as these feelings only serve to keep me trapped in the prison of the mind to never actually be able to live life for real

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to take pride in having insane habits and being able to be comfortable in a place where people shouldn’t be comfortable and many others often recognize they are not comfortable within – I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to take pride in doing insane/impractical/extreme things within the belief that this somehow makes me different and therefore more special than others

I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to embrace real physical living and the simplicity of the breath of life as the key to what it really means to live – I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear going beyond the mind using the tool of breath as a self support to discover and understand myself, life and what it all really means

Day 414: Job interviews/entering the workforce

Recently I underwent the experience of looking for a new job and having several job interviews throughout the process. To give some background on my line of work: I started out as a private music teacher, which I did for about 8 years, which lead to me finding work as a high school teacher, teaching English overseas in Thailand for a few years. I then decided to return to Canada to do a degree, and once I had finished my degree this past January, I decided to come back to Thailand to live and find work again as a teacher.

For a number of reasons this particular job search ended up being much longer and much more difficult than any job search experience I have ever had, and throughout this blog I will go through each of these reasons, how I experienced myself, how I dealt with these challenges and what I have learned from it all.

When I was first finding it difficult to find work, my initial reaction was to want to blame this on the ‘job market’. As I tend to read regularly on this subject, I do often see all the reports that show how small the job market is getting, due to more and more jobs being replaced every day by technology, and the overall profit-motive of businesses being to always downsize and reduce labor costs in order to maximize profit, which is an ongoing process that will not cease. But while it is true that the job market is tougher than ever before, this does not absolve me of my own self-responsibility to really put the effort in to find work and prove that I am in fact a suitable candidate for the jobs that are available. I could have done more, and my job search did not need to be as long and difficult as it was.

Because I tended to find jobs in the past with a degree of ease, I took that experience and made the mistake of assuming that it was always going to be this way. The world is changing at an unprecedentedly and exponentially fast rate, and it is vital that we ‘keep up with the changing times’ so to speak and have an understanding of what it is like out there. So don’t get too ‘comfortable’ (lazy).

I would like to say that having the ability to do useful work and generally being a valuable person in the service of others is not just something you do, it is an expression of who you are. I say this because when I initially got here, I sort of went into vacation mode, and sort of said to myself “yeah, I’ve got time…I’ll find work later when I’m done partying”. Do not do this – the world does not wait for you, that is not the way of the world, so do not wait for it.

Because – why do we work at all? The answer should be that we work towards the betterment of all, but unfortunately that is not necessarily what is taught to us of work, and so we often just look at work in a kind of way where it is about putting our time in to see what we can get out of it on a personal level. I because I upgraded my credentials when I was in Canada, I also made the mistake of assuming that this would equate to being able to find work more easily – as I’m sure many people already know, it does not! This leads me to my forthcoming point that getting work and being effective in your work is not necessarily about just checking off a checklist of obligations and ‘doing all the right things’ – it is about you being, rather than your doing, so to speak.

Working towards the betterment of all is a self-expression that comes through in all that we do. Even when we are not at that ‘certain place at a certain time’ – everything do should be oriented towards this same objective. Even with seemingly personal things: when we work to feed ourselves, when we put in the time to educate ourselves, when we take care of personal hygiene so that our health is optimal, when we work to build relationships and social network, when we go on the internet to read things, write things and post/share things on the internet – all of these points should be oriented towards enabling us to be able to meet our ultimate goal – to be able to work towards the betterment of all life. There is no dichotomy of working for ‘me or them’ – we should all working towards a common goal. Where I come from in Canada I have heard people use the expression that they are in “work mode” when they are working, as if they are some kind of work robot – there is no such thing as ‘work mode’ – we are always working all the time whether we realize it or not (doing things) – the human body works 24/7 – being in ‘work mode’ is rather a mental program of being stuck in the ‘work dome’ which is the bubble we have created in our minds that work should be this robotic exercise we do in the name of survival and self-interest.

During my job search, I ended up undergoing several interview processes before I finally landed a job – 3 actual interviews and a several other correspondence with schools for potential jobs. The first thing I will say about this is that if something does not work out for you – DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY – the employers have their reasons, and you have yours, as to why it did not work out. There is no use in focusing on the reasons of the employers – the only thing you have control over is yourself, so my suggestion would be to be gently and yet brutally honest with yourself to see where you may have not done enough or what you could have done better. In my case, it was my self-interest that held me back from landing a job in one of those interviews. Because employers are human and not perfect by any means, it is too easy to point fingers. But when I look back, it is me who was not willing to give up my self interest and put in the time to better prepare myself for the interview (in this case I had to give an example of a classroom lesson, and while I settled on my lesson and preparation being ‘good enough/sufficient’, I know self honestly that I did not give it my all.)

The second job that did not come through was entirely out of my control, as it turned out that the employer had a bias towards teachers that had previously worked for government schools (as I had). In these instances I again suggest to not get caught up in any possible shortcomings of others and simply keep moving. After all we are doing business and business really is never personal. It is not about making friends or getting along or having some kind of good feelings or experiences together – they have a need, you have a need, and you are exchanging your services, which they need in order for the goods you need. It is as simple as that.

By the time my third interview came, I had learned from my past experiences where I had not given it enough that this time, I had to give it my all. The interview went well and I was asked to come back to do an example classroom lesson. I find this challenge of teaching a class in front of a bunch of other teachers very daunting, my first tendency is to want to go into fear, but the fact is that I cannot control the opinions of others – the only thing I can control is how much of myself I put into preparing and doing the best job that I can. The self doubt that arises may simply be a reflection of us doubting ourselves because deeply we know we may not want to put in the work – that is the only thing you can control and either know self assuredly or doubt – whether you are trying or not.

So unlike my first interview, this time I spent the entire evening preparing and doing research on this particular subject, developing my example lesson until I was satisfied and felt confident that I knew what I was doing and would be able to do work/present something that the teachers who were evaluating me would find acceptable. Because I was aware that I had put the work in, I also found within myself a deeper level of self satisfaction, and so my expression was quite content and cheerful when I went to do my lesson, which always helps – the positivity I was exhibiting was coming from a real place – I did not have to fake it or pretend, which really relieves the experience of fear and anxiety that one may normally experience in this process.

Finally, I got the job, and I am now a full time teacher at a primary school. I am proud to say this, not because of the personal achievement, status or benefits, but because I earned it and deserve it.

The job market is out of your control but who you are and your principals and values is something that you do control – and if you are consistent and dedicated in standing for/living/applying those principles and values – sooner or later that will noticed and recognized because you truly are a useful person to those in need of your service. The bigger issue here is that the world system and the job market really need people working within it who care about life and making this world a better place. We need a new kind of teacher, doctor, lawyer, policeman, politician – whatever it is – who lives for the common good and does not simply punch a time clock for a paycheck while counting down the hours of the day waiting to get back to his/her television or beer or internet or whatever. We are entering uncharted waters and the adhering to the old status quo of simply ‘doing all the right things’ but not truly giving of yourself in service of a higher purpose won’t cut it. Serve a higher purpose – do not just seek to fill a vacant position – that is what plugs are for.

Day 413: Common beliefs as a form of blame

So recently I have been having strange experiences with an illness that I commonly get, which is a sinus infection. It is strange in that once in a while throughout my day, every day, I will get a bit of soreness in my sinuses that is akin to the feeling that I get when I am starting to develop a ‘full blown’ and normally very painful sinus infection. Because I have had it so many times, I tend to take medication as soon as I get this ‘warning sign’ – although at some points I found myself to be immune to amoxicillin, the drug that I normally take to cure the infection.

In this case, that basically happened – sort of – the amoxicillin seemed to have an effect initially but then after a couple days I would still get some soreness sometimes. Now it has been quite a while since I first got the initial infection signs, maybe 2 weeks now. At first I simply started taking more amoxicillin but noticed that this made no difference, and so I basically said ‘fuck it, I will find other ways to take care of myself’, focusing on diet, and interestingly enough, breathing, as it is my understanding that infections develop due to blocked sinuses and so I sometimes focus on breathing hard through the nose, which I notice is often blocked and requires a bit of force – but it really requires me to focus on the breathing which is quite cool and this is something that I have been working with in my process for quite some time – this illness, though I can’t say ‘I know what it means and why it is here’, I can say has assisted and supported me to do something that supports me more often and frequently.

What is interesting is how ‘naturally’ – or should I say commonsensically – this developed, because it didn’t really require any belief, just a general understanding of what sinus infections are which prompted me to try some things. This is interesting to me because during this experience, I have noticed how often beliefs come up – when I get sick, rather than deal with the point as breath, I instead go into a panic and into fear and start going through all the beliefs of ‘what it might be that is causing this’ (as though it is some simple thing I accidentally did and if I just find that thing and stop doing it, the illness will go away). Is included beliefs like: it’s the food I’m eating and the chemicals in them, it is not healthy food!’ or ‘it is because I am not sleeping enough, I need more sleep because more sleep= better help’ or ‘my body is too acidic, I need to balance my ph levels and eat more alkalinized foods’ or ‘it is the dust in my house, I need to clean it more’ or ‘it is the bug spray I am using it, I must not use bug spray’.

Exactly what chemicals or actions may be facilitating this illness is really not the point – the point is that within my self movement, attempts at self support and understanding, I am trying to find answers in knowledge and belief – rather than to simply step back, take a breath and direct myself as breath. That seems scary to the mind of which believes that the answers are in knowledge and turning to knowledge through fear. In a way it is as though I am rejecting the physical body, that it is not aware and does not know what is best – and yet, in moments where I have let go of the mind and the fear of the unknown that stand beyond the mind as breath/the physical body, amazing things have emerged that were completely unseen and unexpected. There really is a kind of self movement beyond knowledge and thinking, an ‘intelligence’ of the body, if you will, that is far superior to what the mind could ever offer – we actually do this all the time, trust our bodies to do what is best, and yet it is like we won’t allow ourselves to.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to focus on the things that I cannot control, meaning that I have accepted and allowed myself to try to find answers in knowledge and acting on that knowledge, rather than to simple take a breath and utilize that breathing to stop the mind until no more thoughts/feelings and emotions arise’, so that I may direct myself in clarity as breath as a physical movement of self and in this way, develop self trust as I am in fact living in a physical body and not a mental reality.

I commit myself to focus on breathing and embrace breath no matter how great the fear/doubt seems, no matter how appealing the knowledge/information/pictures in the mind may appear when I am in such a state of distress, fear and anxiety – I stop, breathe, and focus on breath until the energy passes as I see, realize and understand that if I allow myself to move beyond thoughts through breathing and let go of energy unconditionally, life as self movement and trust in breath/the physical body may emerge

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to use the mind of knowledge/information/beliefs as a kind of shield to defend my self from the fear I experience when my body experiences pain or discomfort rather than to simply recognize pain and discomfort for what it is – the body signaling that something is out of balance/alignment with the physical body – and to thus investigate and understand what it is that the body is showing me and how it is supporting me

I commit myself to use breath/self honesty as my guide and tool

I commit myself to see, realize and understand that beliefs/knowledge are not real and that simply no answers ever exist in knowledge/belief but rather only in the things that ‘I can control’ which is to support the body with common sense and self honesty as I see, realize and understand that this is something that can be established through breathing and focusing on breath to stop the mind of thoughts, feelings, emotions/energy

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that life can exist without pain and within this, to try and live in a way where pain is not possible and to try and attempt to avoid pain, which in itself requires belief

I commit myself to embrace pain and discomfort as myself – meaning to stand one and equal to it, as to seek answers in knowledge and information as beliefs is tacitly implying that I am not responsible/am not the cause

Day 412: Daily self forgiveness – losing the way

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to think and believe that there is something better/a better way/a better future in the world of the mind as energy through drugs and sex

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to want and desire to hold on to sex as a form of holding onto the experience/perception/belief of power and dominance

I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to see what is possible through simply stopping and committing to stopping long term and for life

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to have lost my way which is the inner way – the way of having inner vision and insight into what takes place within my physical body as the mind of thoughts, feelings and emotions and to always be self reflective and self responsible in terms of always looking at my own reactions and how they are a reflection of who I am and what I am accepting and allowing

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be deceived by the belief that there is anything more than life or more enjoyable than living in a way that is best for all life and works to create a world that is best for all life

I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to see, realize and understand that even within realistic and rational self interest, that nothing brings me more enjoyment and fulfillment and an overall cool experience of myself than living my life in a way that is best for all life – and that within this context, ‘self interest’ as remaining stuck in habits/patterns that do not serve life as one and equal does not compare in any way and is useless

I forgive myself that I’ve not accepted and allowed myself to see, realize and understand that I am another domino required as part of the domino effect to make a difference in this world – that my standing makes a difference in terms of supporting others to stand, or to not stand

I commit myself to be self honest in considering whether or not my thoughts, feelings and emotions that I am accepting and allowing within myself are best for all life or not, and thus I commit myself to once again use thoughts, feelings and emotions as a tool to show me something about myself that I have not yet learned/understood as what the mind is showing me about me and what I have accepted and allowed myself to become