Posts Tagged ‘self help’

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by @anarchyroll
3/30/2014

Tea, the original medicine.

I drink herbal tea at home for stress relief, improved breathing, and to help me get to sleep quicker. I could take prescription drugs for these things, but why use chemicals when something that grew out of the ground works just as good or better.

I also drink a ton of tea when I write at Starbucks, but that’s because it’s free refills with new bags after five purchases with a gift card. For someone looking to be social on a tight budget, two bucks and some change for all the tea you can drink in a social environment frequented by women in their 20s is a deal I’ll take any day. But I digress.

In a way, it still amazes me how much my physiology changes each time I drink my teas. Herbal tea is not just a drink. And it’s not meant to be sipped on. Black and green tea you can sip and drink at any temperature. Just remember when you are drinking herbal tea to drink it:

  • As hot as you can drink it
  • As fast as you can drink it

Don’t burn your lips, mouth, or throat. Be smart about it. But as soon as you can drink it safely, gulp it. Why? This method enables the medicinal aspects of the tea formula to kick in faster. I first heard this from Richard Bandler. The next time I had herbal tea I tried the as hot, as fast style and the difference was striking.

Yoga led me to meditation and meditation led to herbal tea. How? Yoga and meditation are simple. Essentially stretching and sitting still while breathing deeply and concentrating on the breath. Those simple acts can bring about drastic change, they have for me at least. The drastic change both brought about got me thinking what other simple things could help me in drastic ways.

National chain grocery stores have gigantic tea aisles, let alone organic and health food stores. My local supermarket had an organic section. That section had several aisles, one of the aisles was half organic herbal tea varieties. One of the brands was Yogi tea. Since I was doing yoga, the name stood out. What stood out more was the different kinds they have. When I thought about the three reasons I wanted herbal tea to help me with;

  1. Stress/anxiety relief
  2. Breathing help through my nose
  3. Sleep aide

I noticed they not only had formulas for those needs, but had multiple varieties. I was sold and haven’t looked back. My paradigm of drinking tea shifted from a beverage, to akin to taking vitamins. I don’t just notice the difference when I go a prolonged stretch without herbal tea, I literally feel the difference.

I encourage everyone to explore what herbal tea can do for them. It’s no magic pill, but the I do truly believe it can help. And unlike chemically concocted prescription pills, there are no side effects. It will either help or it won’t, but won’t help and also cause anal bleeding, depression, or erectile dysfunction.

Sometimes when I loose sight of the space between stimulus and response, drinking the tea helps me to both remember that it is there and see it clearer than I did before.

Herbal tea contributes to me being my best self. It enables me to breath better, feel better, and sleep better. It takes the lump out of my chest when I’m feeling stressed/anxious, it allows me to get more oxygen to my brain and muscles, and allows me to get more restful sleep. I hope you will try a formula or two or three and I hope that herbal tea will help you as much or more than it has helped me.

 

Namaste

 

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by @anarchyroll
3/27/2014

Yoga was a slippery slope to meditation. The breathing, the focus on breathing, the slowed down mind, the relaxation, the stress relief, the clarity, the endorphins rush, the visualizations, the calmness, the acceptance, the awareness, the present.

I am forever happy and grateful for the practice of meditation coming into my life. I hadn’t heard much about meditation, and apparently that is common. Davos hosted a conference on meditation just this year. Meditation has been around for thousands of years.

When it comes to slowing down my thoughts, calming myself down, reducing anxiety, and positive visualizations; I can use all the help I can get. I have struggled with depression since I was 13. Yoga I started strictly for the physical health benefits. Meditation is exercise for the mind, heart, and spirit.

Like yoga there are many ways to meditate. If you are just beginning the main things to remember are;

  1. Sit or lay down
  2. Press your index finger and thumb together on each hand
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Breath from your stomach/diaphram/solar plexes
  5. Concentrate your thoughts/inner dialogue on tracking the movement of the breath from inhale through exhale

That is the 101, basically everything beyond that is intermediate to advanced level. Those five steps will take you longer to master than you think. Especially in the smartphone centered, rat race world we have been born into. If you are a senior citizen, it’ll be easier, just take yourself back to before the world got into a big hurry.

Stimulus Space Response in the name of this blog. That name comes from the teachings of George Herbert Mead and Stephen Covey. Both talk about the space between stimulus and response where humans execute free will to interpret an interaction. This space is unique to humans, not animals possess this ability. Here I try to write about concepts and things that can be plugged into that space in order to make our response to any stimulus one that is integrated with the best version of our self.

Meditation to me is the tool to cultivate the space between stimulus and response. Like the jack one uses to move a car up off the ground to replace a flat tire.

I have included links throughout this article for help in getting started with meditation. I would suggest doing at least a brief yoga routine before going into a meditation session. Be patient with yourself and with the progress of learning something new, as in the rest of life. I still have unproductive meditation sessions because my mind is habitualized to be preoccupied with thoughts of scarcity, victimism, and mental movies of worst case scenarios. Meditation is not a magic pill, but it does help. I am happy and grateful for what it has done and continues to do for me, and I will be sure to write about it more in the future.

Yoga not only led me to meditation but also led me to try herbal teas. In times of crisis I often need herbal tea more than meditation as the tea has the ability to physically alter my state upon consumption. More on that to come…

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by @anarchyroll
3/7/2014

Very few things have changed my life as much as yoga has.

I started practicing yoga in 2009. I was looking for something new to incorporate into my exercise regimen as well as something to get me out of bed in the morning. I had cable at the time which had an on demand section of channels. One of which was Exercise TV which has since become a Hulu exclusive channel. I started with a ten minute, AM Yoga routine, and have been hooked since.

There are no magic pills in this world. Yoga didn’t cure me of anything. Yoga didn’t overnight change my life. Yoga didn’t make me unrecognizable to my friends. I didn’t become a Buddhist.

What I have come to realize over the past several months is that yoga planted the seeds of paradigm change and shifts in my life. As humans, we can do nothing without breath. Breathing comes before entertainment, shelter, food, or water. Yoga is first and foremost about proper breathing. About getting more oxygen the brain and extremities, before the stretching aspect.

The increased oxygen to my brain slowly but surely started to change the way I thought. Slowly but surely changed the way I perceived myself and the world around me. Slowly but surely allowed me to bend more so that I would not break; physically, mentally, emotionally.

Yoga calms me down and de-stresses me physically and mentally. It literally removes physical tension from my hips and back. Metaphorically it calms me down and slows my constantly racing mind (probably from the increased oxygen going to my brain).

Yoga is the one exercise literally every human with all their limbs can do. There is pre-school yoga and senior citizen yoga. There is highly feminine yoga as well as yoga for bros and regular guys. There is yoga for abs, legs, back, and of course the butt as you’ve noticed from the yoga pants that are inescapable year round these days.

Yoga changed my life by changing the way I looked at everything. I thought yoga was for women and the excessively spiritual. I found that it is literally for everyone. It can be molded and shaped to fit any individuals specific needs and wants from a physical or mental exercise. I use it to calm my mind but also to stretch my muscles in between weight lifting sessions. This helps prevent injury as I am much less likely to tear an overly tight muscle since it gets stretched in a challenging way four to six days a week.

The more I learn about yoga and the more I do it, the more I love it. I am so happy and grateful the practice came into my life and I can’t recommend it highly enough to every man, woman, and/or child that may come across this article at any time in the present moment or future.

Why is yoga my year zero? Because of yoga I started meditating. Because of meditation I started listening to audio books. Because of audio books I began to love learning. Because I began to love learning I realized I could learn to love anything that I previously didn’t like. Once I started trying and liking different things, I started looking at what I had been doing previously and why I didn’t like so many things. Once I started doing that, I started doing the heavy lifting of taking action in the direction of being my best self. I was able to see through the darkness to get to the dawn. I was able to see that sometimes you have to take two steps back to take three steps forward. Everything changed after yoga, everything. And is still changing.

Yoga as the gateway to meditation is another story for another day. I have provided links to multiple yoga websites that will provide you with greater information and detail about the practice of yoga and I encourage you with all of my being to try the practice for yourself, it will be worth your time, energy, focus, and breath. I promise.

Namaste

ssrlogo2by @anarchyroll
2/13/2014

I first heard the word calibration used repeatedly while actively studying social dynamics. It was often used as a way to find balance between x and y. Criticism, well, we’re all familiar with that aren’t we? From our inner dialogue, from our peers, from our family, from our romantic partners, from strangers in public venting masked personal frustration upon us. Calibration is heard less and used less. What is it?

The simple way to break it down is, calibration is the third part of the trial and error principle. Trial = take action, error = what went wrong, calibration = what you can do next time to prevent the same error from happening again. What’s great about calibration is, it can’t be done without action. So if you get in the game and take a swing, it’s cool, because now you have tangible, external examples on what to better next time. As opposed to, say, sitting on one’s ass judging others harshly to vent personal shame due to lack of courage to take action.

I have been so far behind the eight ball on being a responsible, independent, mature, adult at times that the fact that I was able to shift from criticism to calibration is an accomplishment for me. Because it involved taking action. So after I would finish being mad at myself for failing, or not executing my objective from a to z perfectly, I would be able to take a deep breath (deep breathing is key) and write out or discuss with a friend what went right and what went wrong.

One can’t make a pros and cons list if they take no action. No, sitting alone at home in heavy thought does not count. Being stuck in one’s head is something I empathize with. I have missed many opportunities because I was too stuck in my own head to exercise courage in the moment of choice and take action in the direction of my goals. That lead to criticism, lots of it.

If you find yourself being highly critical of yourself and others, as I have been in the past, it is time to look inside. A good first step I have seen pop up in multiple books and recorded seminars is making eye contact with one’s reflection in the mirror and holding it for no less than five to ten minutes in silence. A thought journal would follow, then a list of goals (immediate, short term) to start taking action. Reading books, listening to audio programs, watching videos of personal development instructors, success authors, life coaches, etc can come next as a guide so one doesn’t get lost, feel alone, or feel it is okay to give up when faced with no immediate gratification.

Life does not come with an instruction manual. We have to be taught to walk & talk, where to shit & piss, not to burn ourselves touching hot things, how to dress, tie shoes, bathe, etc. How does one know what they are not taught? Go easy on yourself, it’s not easy, it = life. Don’t feel shame asking for help, by checking out a book, talking to a friend, keeping a private journal, and doing new things that make your uncomfortable. Because after all; “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neal Donald Walsh

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by @anarchyroll
2/6/2014

Making good decisions is a basic part of life, but certainly not an easy one. If everyone made the decisions that are best for them consistently, well the world would certainly be a different place.  Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath seeks to help people make better decisions in life and business.  It is a personal development book based upon science rather than spirituality. I recommend Decisive, for the same reason I recommend Willpower and The Power of Habit.  All three are personal development/ self help books for people who don’t like self help books.  All three are based completely on empirical, peer reviewed, scientific research and kill the idea that self help books are new age, rah rah, think positive and you’ll become rich that has stigmatized the genre since the 1980s.

The key concept in Decisive is the W.R.A.P Method which stands for;

  1. Widen your options
  2. Reality test your assumptions
  3. Attain some distance
  4. Prepare to be wrong

The other concepts of the book that are very useful are confirmation bias, pre mortem, trip wires, and loss aversion. Each of which can go a long way to helping a person think more independently, separated from pride one’s pride, ego, and personal bias.

The book encourages a person to always look for at least one alternative to their original idea. In a business setting, the following three questions are encouraged to be asked;

  1. What would I tell my best friend to do?
  2. If I got fired, what would my successor do?
  3. What would have to be true for each option to be right?

As with every book, the devil is in the details. The seven things I have listed above alone can provide a baseline of help. Though the credibility as to why they are helpful are explained in detail by citing research and studies over the course of many years.

This book will help you. The processes the book gives can be plugged into the space between stimulus and response to help any person utilize the space after the stimulus, in order to produce a response of dignity, maturity, and with the end in mind.

Definitely recommended for the anti personal development person we all know. Or anyone who can admit to themselves that we all need help making better decisions in our personal and professional lives.

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by @anarchyroll
1/31/2014

Very few things have happened to me that I consider genuinely life changing. Listening to the audio book for A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle is one of them.

There was immediate change as well in terms of how I viewed my own life, as well as the lives of others. That wore off after a few months, but the seeds for long lasting permanent change had been planted.  Present moment awareness, resistance as an emotion, the ego, reading the sign posts of the universe, letting go, and mental noise are concepts taught in this book that I am eternally grateful and better for learning.

I know I would be lost without this book. It is no magic pill, because there is no such thing. It did fill in huge pieces of the puzzle of life for me.  This book brought me to year zero in terms of being who I wanted to be and living the life I wanted to live. This book is the salt of the Earth. This book allowed me to feel calm, ready, and willing to accept I had to tear it down and start from scratch.

How I came by this book? It was thanks to The Game by Neil Strauss.  The villain of that nonfiction book is a man named Owen Cook, who was going by Tyler Durden at that time (yes named after Fight Club Tyler Durden.) When Owen’s life came crashing down around him after The Game came out and painted him in a very negative light, and the negative financial repercussions that came with it, he started getting into spirituality.  A New Earth turned his life around and his most successful piece of self help material he personally created The Blueprint Decoded was built on a foundation of the concepts in A New Earth.

A vast majority of the Blueprint stuff was deep level stuff.  Well below the surface layer of pick up lines and traditional social dynamics material.  An audience member at the four day seminar where Blueprint was recorded talked about changing his college major after reading A New Earth. I was in college at the time and figured I would check it out.  Wow am I glad I did. My major didn’t change.  But the way I perceived basically everything that happened to me did.  How I looked at other human beings changed. How I looked at the world changed.  How I looked at concepts like coincidence, serendipity, chance, luck, reaction, interpretation, breathing, the thought process all changed forever.

In the future I will detail those changes more specifically.  The greatest gifts were a gift of calmness both in the face of adversity and good times.  An awareness of where my thoughts come from.  Better clarity on the human condition.  The struggle of the ego versus the soul that is waged inside of all of us, all day, every day.  A New Earth started the remodel by tearing it all down including knowing a new foundation had to be engineered.  The Game by Neil Strauss gave me the idea change was needed.  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey was what would serve as the new foundation. More to come on those next time.

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by @anarchyroll
1/24/2013

You’ve probably heard of the Law of Attraction by now.  The Secret by Rhonda Byrne as publicized by Oprah has made it almost impossible to not know what the Law of Attraction is.

Think of The Secret as Tumblr of self help/personal development books. The is essentially reblogging of material that is hundreds if not thousands of years old. However, she mostly just reblogged (in book and movie form) the works of Charles Haanel.

To me, personally, The Secret came off as naive, pretentious, and new age selfish.  Another famous Law of Attraction book by Jerry and Ester Hicks came across as to me as borderline deranged.  Tapping the Source is put in plain language. It is explained thoroughly and simply. The main points are repeated throughout the book to hammer them home.  It is one of the few books I recommend to every human being to read.

The main points of the book involve thinking positively, visualizing specific goals as if they have been achieved, AND feeling positive emotions while thinking/visualizing the positive thoughts.  Attaching the feeling(s) to the thought(s) is what most people miss/forget about the Law of Attraction. Without the specific visualization and physical emotional state attached to it, thinking positive is essentially useless.

The other principle the book is centered upon is saying specific “focus phrases” while meditating.  A person should get into a meditative/prayer state (which is more than just sitting down with your eyes closed) and say each of the following in order:

  1. I choose to focus enjoyably inward
  2. My mind is quiet, I am now in the silence
  3. I am open to receive guidance from my source
  4. I know what I want
  5. I feel connected with creative power
  6. My vision is right now perfect and complete
  7. Each new moment is manifesting my dream

The book offers very detailed and specific guidance for why each focus phrase individually and collectively are important to say.  Tapping the Source is essentially an update of Haanel’s own 1912 book The Master Key System.  If you are looking to turn your life around or fine tune your success this book is what you’re looking for. It is a great starting point because it has been a starting point for every self help author for the last century.  Napoleon Hill, Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, etc all use Haanel’s work as primary source material. That is what initially attracted me to the book. I wanted to know what the self help guru’s were reading and using to create their material.  If it is good enough for them, it’s good enough for you and me. This book will help to create a solid foundation for which you can build a palace of personal development upon.

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11/7/2013

I’ve written about where I/why I started in down my path of personal development and knowledge consumption. So naturally I’m not going to skip all the way to where I am presently and work my way backwards.

Over the last month I started listening to trance induction, paraliminal, multi layered audio recordings before going to sleep and/or after suffering any degree of a panic attack or bad mood.  A simpler way to say that although with just as many syllables is self hypnotherapy.

I like the majority of people confused hypnosis for entertainment, as it has been bastardized as such in the media for the last several decades. While learning about Richard Bandler and Neuro Linguistic Programming, hypnosis and hypnotherapy began coming up more and more. The name Milton Erickson kept coming up more and more as well.  I had heard of Erickson before while listening to an audio book by Tony Robbins.

I listen to the tracks with headphones, while laying down in bed, with the shades drawn, lights off, and a hot water bottle on my lower back.

After a couple of weeks I started getting hypnotized quicker and for longer periods of time. But that only lasted for a week.  Presently I still get hypnotized during each track, but the length and depth seems to be shorter/smaller.

Being hypnotized has helped me, though I realized after a few weeks I was hoping it would be the magic pill.  I made progress in the areas I wanted to make progress in. No doubt, I set external metrics for success and initially reached them, but then stagnated/hit a plateau.  However, the plateau was reached because I resisted pushing myself beyond my comfort zone in certain situations.

Since it is self hypnosis meaning I am doing it alone, and since I have no one there to help me “in the field” (despite requesting help from my five closest friends) I am left to try and push myself beyond my limits alone.  And if that were easy there would be no personal trainers, life coaches, dieticians, or need for police.  Self mastery is hard and smacking up against my limits, mental short comings, emotional scars, physical pains, and social paralysis everyday has worn me down a bit.

But the hypnotherapy fuels me up.  My discipline has increased, my efficiency has increased, myself talk is more positive, I am socializing more when I am out in the world, I am setting more goals, and achieving more goals.

I recommend everyone try it for a month, anything less than listening to a track once a day everyday for a month is useless.  The Sphinx of Imagination by Hypnotica was the first I ever tried. I have since listened to tracks by Jack Canfield, Richard Bandler, Carol Erickson, Richard Nognard, and a few others.  Look up NLP Hypnosis audio in a torrent search engine and try a couple for yourself…then purchase them if they work for you.  I think you’ll be surprised what self hypnotherapy will do for you.   More to come on this issue in the future…