I remember hearing about someone who only felt good about themselves if they received a certain amount of likes on a social media site. This person was sharing pictures of their face and their body.
If they received a certain amount of likes everything would be fine, but if they didn’t, they would soon end up hitting rock bottom. It was clear that this person had allowed other people to define their value and to control their emotional state.
They hadn’t met the majority of these people before and, even if they had, they might not have got on with most of them. The power to define how they feel was then in the hands of people who they knew very little about.
If they only allowed their friends and family to define their value, for instance, it would be different as they would know what they were like and value them. But even if this was the case, they would still be giving their power away.
A Big Shock
Even if this person was able to meet all of their followers, there is a strong chance that they wouldn’t get on with most of them. And they might even start to hate a lot of these people if they were to spend a lot of time with them.
But even though this would be a draining experience, it would allow them to see how crazy it is to give their power away to these people. Consequently, instead of feeling down about not getting ‘likes’ from all of their followers, they might feel relieved.
A Precarious Position
When our worth is externalised in this manner, it will feel good when we receive positive feedback; we could feel as though we are on top of the world. The downside is that when this positive feedback is not forthcoming, we can end up feeling completely worthless.
Not only this, we can get used to the amount of likes that we receive and need more to experience the same hit. What can also play a part is that we can compare how may ‘likes’ we get with how many ‘likes’ other people get, with this being another way for us to feel good or bad about ourselves.
Lastly, if we are looking for people to approve of how we look, there is going to come a time when this approach no longer works. Our appearance will gradually change and this will cause people to go elsewhere.
Considering this fact, it is going to be far better for us to get in touch with our inherent value and to let go of the need for other people to make us feel good about ourselves. Getting in touch with our inherent value is not always easy, though, and this is usually because of what we have picked up throughout our life, along with what has been passed down from our ancestors.
Negative beliefs, emotional pain and trauma, can stop us from being able to connect to our inherent value. Each layer will have built up on the previous later, preventing us from realising the truth of who we are.
When it comes to dealing with all this baggage, external support may be required. This is something that can be provided by a therapist or a healer, for instance.
During my time in Sweden, Stockholm, I was reminded of how good it was to travel. Before I went away, the last time I went aboard was a number of years ago, and this meant that I had pretty much forget about what it was like to go away.
When I was away, it was clear that I was the one who had to get the ball moving, so to speak, or nothing would happen. There wasn’t someone else who would make things happen.
In The Beginning
Now, I did go there to meet a friend but I wasn’t going to be meeting him straight away. Thus, it was down to me to decide what I wanted to do before I saw him and then to take action.
Through taking action I ended up feeling strong and capable, yet this wouldn’t have been the case if I had just sat around doing nothing. There were times when I felt uncomfortable but shortly after I felt more confident.
Just How it Works
What this made me think about is how it is not uncommon for someone to have the desire to be more confident, and to try to achieve this directly. I thought that this is something that usually takes place indirectly.
So, by doing something that makes us feel uncomfortable, we often end up feeling more confident. Confidence is then not something that we can just attain; it is something that we experience after we have done something that has pushed us past our comfort zone.
If you don’t use it, you lose it
With this in mind, confidence is not something that can be developed and that’s the end of it. In the same way that a plant will die if it is not watered, our confidence will begin to subside if we don’t do things that challenge us.
Confidence, then, works in the same way as just about everything else on this planet - in so far as it is either growing or dyeing. Each challenge that we face can then give us the strength that we need to move forward.
A Different Environment
Back to my experience, I was in another country and this meant that I was out of my comfort zone, which stopped me from simply going through the motions. I had to become more active in order to make the most of my time there.
My way of looking at all this is that being away gave me the opportunity to strengthen the masculine element within me. This is something that exists in all of us, regardless of what gender we are.
I am often very aware of this side of my nature, so it doesn’t take a lot for me to realise when this part of me is not getting what it needs. If this part of you is not very developed, this may change if you were to travel.
Being away would give you the chance to get out of your comfort zone and it would be down to you to take action. And if you are already in touch with this part of you nature, going away is still likely to benefit you.
A little while ago I was talking to someone who said that one of their friends had suffered from depression in the past and, along with this, another one of their friends had recently revealed that they were not in a good way. I don’t think it came as a surprise for them to hear about what their first friend had been through, but that wasn’t the case when it came to their other friend.
The reason for this is that this friend had a good job and they appeared to have it all together. Hearing this came as a big shock to them, and perhaps they wondered how this person was able to cover up how they felt for so long.
I wasn’t surprised by what I had heard, and there were a number of reasons for this. Over the years, I have written a lot about how the image that someone presents to the world doesn’t always match up with what is going on within them and how shallow relationships can be.
Two people can then spend time together and they can know very little about each other. That’s not to say they won’t know what they have been doing, for instance; what it means is that they won’t really open about how they have been feeling or what is bothering them
Each person will be playing a role and this will stop them from being able to be themselves. Creating the right impression ends up being more important than anything else, thereby stopping them from being able to truly connect to each other.
I know exactly what this is like as I had the need to look strong all the time and to hide how I felt. This meant that it seemed as though nothing fazed me, yet this was nothing more than an illusion.
What felt safe was hiding how I felt; if I didn’t do this, I believed that I would be rejected, abandoned and/or harmed. This went back to what had happened to me when I was growing up.
A New Perspective
I was carrying a lot of shame, and hiding my emotions was a way for me to try to stop people from realising how flawed I was. I believed that if my mask dropped, so to speak, I would end up being exposed and the people in my life would end up walking away.
Part of me wasn’t willing to go along with this and I knew that there was a way for me to change my life. I read numerous books and worked with different healers and therapists, which allowed me to see that there was nothing for me to be ashamed off.
During this time, the relationship I had with my own emotions gradually changed and I no longer wanted to play a role. What I also thought about is that there was no reason for me to feel ashamed of the mental and emotional issues that I had.
The positive feedback that I received from therapists and healers played a part in this, as did what I read in books. I went from believing that my inner experience was something to be ashamed off, to seeing as just part of the human experience.
If I had always felt this way, I would have been able to do something about how I felt years before. The beliefs I had about what I was going through were what had held me back, not what I was actually going through.
The beliefs I had were the result of my upbringing and the experiences I had had throughout my life. If I had a physical problem, I’m sure I would have let someone know about it more or less straight away and got the right help.
A New Outlook
When someone realises that there is nothing for them to be ashamed of if they have mental and emotional problems, they won’t need to suffer in silence. This will allow them to look for the assistance that they need.
If another person makes out there is something wrong with them, it can show that they don’t feel comfortable with their own emotions. The way that they talk to themselves is then being directed outwards.
In 2015, I was speaking to a therapist called, Vijay Rana, about different healing techniques. I was talking about how some people believe that their technique is the best one available or the only one that works.
After bringing this up, I went into why I thought that it wasn’t a good idea for someone to say these kinds of things. I remember saying that this can cause someone to experience problems when a technique doesn’t work for them.
They can end up believing that there must be something wrong with them, causing them to feel even worse than they did before. Also, instead of trying another technique that will assist them, they can continue to use the same technique.
There can be the frustration and anger that they experience as well, along with all the money that they are forking out. And after all this, they are not going to be any better off than they were before; if anything, they can worse off.
Vijay listened to what I had to say and then he followed up with what he had heard Ken Wilber say. I think he said that he had heard him talk about how people can get so attached to what they do, that it impedes their ability to think clearly.
It was as though the technique they use becomes part of them, making them see everything though a certain lens. Their technique will be a hammer and this will cause them to see every issue as a nail – there will be a one-size-fits-all approach.
A Number of Options
He said that while he uses one technique, this was not the only way of working through inner blocks. There were a number of different options that he put forward, and this showed that his identity was not attached to a technique.
This allowed him to be more open minded and to accept that what works for one person might not have the same effect on someone else. It was not a surprise to hear Vijay say this as he is very down to earth and genuine.
A Long List
Over the years, I have tried a number of different approaches, and I have learnt a lot and dealt with a lot of stuff during this time. Some of the things I have tried have worked for others but not for me and certain approaches have been good for certain issues but not others.
I would say that there are techniques out that there that are far more effective than others, but I wouldn’t say that one technique will solve everything. What I have also thought is that if someone uses a technique and says that it is the only one that works, and they are in a good place themselves, there is a strong chance that they have tried many different techniques over their life to get to where they are.
The technique they use will have been elevated, but there is likely to have been so many other factors that will have played a part in where they are today. Ignoring the other techniques they have used and experiences that have allowed them evolve will be similar to a car manufacturer overlooking how much of an impact the earlier models of a car have had on the latest model; if it wasn’t for these models, the latest model wouldn’t exist.
Therefore, if they hadn’t have gone through these experiences, they would have been able to get to this point. In other words, it is unlikely that the technique they now use is the only one they have ever used.
Often, someone will be drawn to a technique that allows them to go to a level that they feel comfortable with at that point in time. It could be said that there is the technique and then there is how ready someone is to work through an issue.
How ready someone is can define how long it will take them to work through something; this is not something that a therapist or a healer can speed up. This is why it is important for someone to trust in their journey, to know that the answers they need will be provided at the right time.
When I have spoken my friend Wain about what I was working on in the past, he has often asked me what I was trying to achieve. Additionally, he has asked me what I was looking to receive after I had done something.
These questions had a big effect on me, and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. Nowadays, I’m no longer fazed by these questions, and this is because I know what his intentions are.
Getting to the Root
I thought that I was being judged when Wain first asked me these questions and this is why I felt uncomfortable. In reality, he was simply curious as to whether I was aware of why I wanted to do something or why I had done it.
Thus, if I hadn’t thought about this, I wouldn’t be able to see what was going on at a deeper level. Consequently, this would have stopped me form being able to behave in a conscious manner, which could have caused me to suffer unnecessarily.
If I had been working on a book and I wanted to release this book to prove something to someone, there is the chance that I would end up feeling let down. Maybe I would get the feedback that I desired, but then again, I might not.
Not only this, my desire to release a book would be coming from my head and not my heart. The energy behind this book would then be very different to the energy that would be behind it if it was coming from my heart.
A Different Conversation
What my friend Wain had been talking about for a number of years ended up being touched upon when I was speaking to a friend called, Errol Campbell, a little while ago. He ended up talking about a number of projects that had been started for the wrong reasons.
From the outside, it seemed as though they were there to make a difference in the world, yet this wasn’t the complete truth. As a result of this, they were not as successful as they might have been otherwise.
Through talking about these examples, it was a way for him to shed light on how important it was to have pure intentions. Now, he could have just explained this without using these examples, but this wouldn’t have had the same impact on me.
So, as I said in the article that I wrote about karma - we can deceive ourselves, but what we can’t do is deceive the universe. What is going on within us will be mirrored back to us in one way or another.
More of the Same
In other words, if someone feels frustrated and angry, or needy and powerless; what they send out into the universe will bring them more of the same. Conversely, when someone feels called to do something and their intentions are pure, the results are likely to be very different.
In order to do this, someone will need to get out of their head and into their heart, and this is often easier said than done. If they are consumed by how they feel, it will be more or less impossible.
It can be a case of breathing deeply and bringing their attention into their heart, with this being easier if they are in an environment where they can relax. Alternatively, it might be necessary for them to deal with their emotional baggage and trauma.
The time had come for me to see my friend Wain again, and I was looking forward to telling him about my time in Stockholm, Sweden. But, I knew that this wouldn’t be a time when we would simply talk about what we had been up to.
I knew that we wouldn’t talk about ‘normal’ things, and this is because when we spend time together, we go a lot deeper than this. Our meet ups are usually mind expanding, to say the least.
I started off by talking about what I did whilst I was away and this started off the interaction on a lighter note. Shortly after this, he spoke about an area in his life that was providing him with a fair amount of insight.
It was clear that this area of his life wasn’t completely serving him, yet he wasn’t willing to blame anyone else for what was taking place. And, by putting up with this, he could see that he was sending himself a number of different messages.
What this comes down to is that when we put up with behaviour or a situation that is not in our best interest, we are telling ourselves that this is what we deserve. This is what will go straight into our unconscious mind.
It is then not necessary for us to tell ourselves that we don’t deserve better, as this is what is taking place indirectly. To emphasise this point, he spoke about how a few of his friends behave when they are at a restaurant.
A Clear Message
He said that if their food is not presented in the right way, they will have no qualms in sending it back. After he shared this, it made me think about a number of occasions when I had put up with bad service.
By behaving in this manner and not putting up with bad service, his friends were telling themselves that they deserve better. Still, he was only too aware of how this can be taken too far, causing someone to become a prima donna and to attract more situations that are of a similar nature.
I started to think about the other areas of my life where I put up with things that don’t fully serve me. I said to Wain that the so-called small things that we put up with have a big effect on us.
He ended up talking about how it all comes back to ‘how we see ourselves’ and how this defines what we do or don’t tolerate. This is something that he has spoken about at great length in our previous meetings
Something to Think About
Taking this into account, it shows how important it is to be mindful of what we feel comfortable with. Yet, even if we feel comfortable with something that doesn’t serve us, it doesn’t mean that we have to berate ourselves.
Instead, we can congratulate ourselves for becoming aware of something that deserve serve us and then to look into what we can do to change it. It may just be a case of changing our behaviour, or a different approach may be required.
When I think about the impact that Wain has had on my life and look back on what he has spoken about over the years, it is clear that he has a lot to share with the world. I feel that this is just the beginning and that there is so much more to come from him.
If you would like to find out more about, Wain, and the services that he offers, please go to - https://www.timetorelax.space/.
I had arranged to speak to Errol again and before our call, there was something that I wanted to talk to him about. What I wanted to know was what his views were on open borders and if he thought we no longer needed them.
This topic was on my mind due to what someone had shared on social media and it was also something that I had thought about in the past. I had also written a few articles that touch on this area.
I thought Errol would be the ideal person to ask about his, for the simple fact that he is an internationally renowned teacher, author and speaker in the fields of self-development and spiritual growth. Thus, he is not someone who wants to change the world via politics, for instance, and a big part of his work is about giving people the guidance that they need to live from their heart, as opposed to their head.
But while part of me wanted to find out his thoughts on this area, another part of me wasn’t sure if I should ask him. However, I thought that avoiding this issue wouldn’t make it go away; in the same way that avoiding an emotion wouldn’t cause it to disappear.
I think my response at this point was indicative of how certain topics are not supposed to be spoken about in the western world. Or, to be more accurate, only certain views are seen as being acceptable.
And, before I spoke to him about this I had the view that open borders were a terrible idea. In the past I had a different view, but then this was because of what I believed, and these beliefs were based on how I wanted the world to be, not how it actually was.
The Time Came
Towards the end of the call, and after we had spoken about a number of different things, I put my question forward. I had been looking forward to hearing what he would have to say for a number of days.
Once he heard my question, it took a little while until he give me an answer; it seemed as though he was connecting to himself. What is clear about Errol is that even though he has a strong connection to his heart, he still has the ability to think rationally.
He ended up talking about how so many people live in their head and not their heart, thereby causing them to see everything as separate. This sense of separation results in so many people either accepting or rejecting people based on their religion, skin colour or gender, amongst other things.
He spoke about how we are all part of the same organism, yet each part of this organism is unable to function as one system. Clearly, if we were all able to put our labels to one side (to live from our heart), there would be no reason to have borders, walls or boundaries.
The Current State of the World
I thought that if everyone on the planet was to rise to a certain level of consciousness, it wouldn’t matter if certain people were not as capable or as intelligent as others as we would all work together. In the same way that it doesn’t matter that certain branches on a tree are smaller than others, as each part of the tree works together.
To remove all boarders with the current level of consciousness on the planet would surely lead to even more problems. Instead of one country fighting another, the people within a country would constantly be fighting amongst themselves.
One Person at a Time
I currently believe that the only way that we will experience heaven on earth is by what happens at an individual level. Getting into politics can seem like a good way to change the world, but this is generally a waste of time.
Even if someone does start off with good intentions, they can end up being led astray the further up they go. I also get the impression that the political realm is full of people who are completely estranged from their heart and their ability to think critically.
At The Source
When I connect to my own heart, there is no need for me to label anything and this means that I am able to just be and to realise my connection with all that is. On the other hand, if I go into my head, I see everything as separate and I have the need to judge things.
Through talking about this topic and hearing Errol’s views, it made me think about how important the heart is when it comes to living in a world without borders. If you would like to find out more about Errol, and the services that he offers, please go to - www.sourceawakening.com/.
At the end of 2016, I could see that I needed to work on my boundaries and to feel better about myself. When it came to the former, this wasn’t just about me saying no; it was also about me listening to my own needs and no longer trying to please others.
As for the latter, I could see that my self-talk wasn’t very supportive or nurturing, and that I felt completely worthless. I would often end up feeling extremely low and it was as though there was nothing I could do to change this.
I Had To Keep Going
Nevertheless, part of me wasn’t willing to give up; I believed that the assistance I needed was out there somewhere. A few months after this I ended up getting in touch with a therapist, healer & retreat leader called, Ben Ralston.
Part of me knew that this was someone who I had to work with and this meant that I didn’t need to find out much about him. This is what usually happens before I work with someone; I just get a sense that I need to work with them.
The information within my body is then what has the biggest effect, as opposed to what is going on in my mind. I think that as my mind only knows what it knows and nothing else, it would be pointless for me to rely purely on my mind.
If my mind knew better, I wouldn’t have had the same problem; I would have been able to think my way out of it. But the life that I was living was the result of what my mind knew at that point in time.
Before my first session with Ben, I was sent a form to fill in; through filling this in, it would allow us to start the session with a clear idea about what to look into and heal. When I spoke about what my challenges were, he understood what I was going through.
It wasn’t that he just listened to what I had to say and came to different conclusions; he had a far greater understanding. He connected to my experience and summed up exactly what it was like for me.
During this time, he said that it was about me “killing my inner parents”, and this was something that had a big effect on me. At first, I experienced fear and thought that this was not something that I could do.
What I think he meant by this was that it was about me letting go of the mother and father that existed within me. Through doing this, I would be able to move forward and to see the people who brought me up as just flawed human beings, not as people who were godlike figures.
A New Outlook
For as long as I saw myself as a child, I would be trapped in a role; a role where I didn’t get what I needed. I would then be looking to these people as well as others, to give me what I didn’t receive as a child.
This would have just caused me to continue to feel frustrated, angry, worthless, hopeless and powerless. Ultimately, it was about seeing myself differently and forming a new relationship with the people who had brought me into the world.
By going through this process, it allowed me to develop stronger boundaries and to develop a totally different outlook. This wasn’t easy, but I knew deep down that this needed to take place in order for me to transform my life.
There are a number of other things that Ben has taught me, such as how important the ‘fight instinct’ is when it comes to having boundaries. So, if you would like to find to more about Ben, and the services that he offers, please go to – www.benralston.org.
Firstly, if you haven’t watched 'Ready Player One' and you plan to watch it, it might be a good idea to read this article at a later date. The reason for this is that I don’t want to give any of the film away or to influence how you perceive it.
I had heard about this film a number of years ago and I even saw a few posters for it when I was in Stockholm, Sweden. So, when a friend asked me if I would like to go and see it, I was happy to take him up on the offer.
The Opening Scene
At the beginning of the film, the main character talks about how, in the future, people no longer try to solve problems; they just try to outlive them. But while just about everywhere looks a mess, this doesn’t mean that these people don’t have anything good to look at.
Firstly, there are people at the top who live differently and secondly, the people at the bottom can escape from reality into virtual reality. This is an option that is, of course, available to the people at the top.
Clearly, there are plenty of ways for someone to escape as it is; virtual reality is not needed. In addition to this, I also thought that there are plenty of people who don’t have the desire to solve their problems, preferring to tolerate them instead.
There is no doubt that if more people had this approach, the world would no longer function in the same way. Just like in the film, the planet would begin to look like a junk yard, and it could be said that this would show that the majority of people on the planet feel completely helpless.
Shortly after this, the main actor talks about how he lives with his aunt. I think his father died when he was really young and his mother is not around, but I can’t remember why this was.
Yet, even if he didn’t say anything about his father, it doesn’t seem as though he has had a strong masculine figure in his life. He comes across as someone who has been neglected.
A Key Role
For one thing, it is as though he is a bit of a loser in life; he is not someone who knows how to assert himself and he appears to lack direction. When he is in the virtual world, he is more capable, but he still lacks backbone.
However, if his father wasn’t around during his early years to give him the guidance he desperately needed, it is to be expected that he will be more feminine than masculine. At the same time, his early experiences could have caused him to go the other extreme and to disconnect from his feminine aspect.
His lack of development stands out whenever he meets the woman that he likes in the virtual world. When he is around her, he is unable to experience self-control and has the need to please her.
So, instead of acting as though he is the centre of his own world and maintaining his centre, he acts as though the woman is the centre of his world. He is then used to giving his power away.
The challenges that he faces in the virtual world as well as the real world, have a positive effect on him. One thing that shakes him up is when the woman he is attracted to (loves) tells him that what is going on in the virtual world is not a game and goes into what she has been through.
He soon realises how important the game is and gradually develops into a leader. I thought that maybe the reason why he was so fascinated by the creator of virtual reality game was due the fact that he grew up without a father; he was then looking fill the hole that his father left within him.
Once he has received the final key, he ends up meeting the creator of the virtual reality game and finds out that he is not part of the program. It is then as though the creator of the software is also still alive and is, therefore, also plugged in somewhere.
He had a small child with him, too, and I thought this child could have been the main actor when he was younger. This would then mean that the creator of the software was the main actor’s father.
An Entertaining Film
Another part of me thought that this couldn’t be the case, as the main actor would have experienced a strong reaction when he saw the small child. I saw the film in 2D, but I think it would have been far better in 3D.
If was to rate this film, I would give it a seven out of ten. The story is pretty good and the special effects are really impressive.
Once I knew that I would be going to Sweden, Stockholm, I started to think about what it would be like. Going away didn’t consume my mind, though, as I was engaged with what was taking place in my life.
I wanted to go away, no doubt about it; but I wasn’t in a position where I needed to get away. What I was doing was fulfilling and this stopped me from getting too caught up in what I would be doing whilst I was away.
A Different Climate
What was different about this trip was that I would be going somewhere that was cold, and this made a change. In the past, I had generally gone to countries that were warm and were only a few hours away.
Yet, even though I was going somewhere cold and it would only take a few hours to get there, I thought that it would be unlike anywhere I had been before. So, when the time came for me to go away, I started to get excited.
The First Signs
On the plane, the safety video was in English and then it was followed up in Norwegian, due to the airline that I was flying with. But even though I wasn’t going Norway, this made it even clearer that I was going away.
Soon after this, I landed in Stockholm and when I got off the plane, heard people talking in another language. It wasn’t until I got outside and was exposed to the cold temperature that I fully realised that I was in another country.
It was incredibly cold and, as I didn’t go to sleep the night before, I just wanted to go to sleep. Nevertheless, now that I was away I wanted to find out more about Sweden and to experience their way of life.
The reason for this is that when I go away, I don’t expect to bring my way of life with me and to live how I would back home. I want to find out what is and what isn’t acceptable, what kind of food they eat, and to learn about their history, among other things.
While I was walking around the city, I saw an advertisement that spoke about where I could find tapas to eat. Now, I have tried taps in the past and I enjoyed eating them, but I wasn’t in Sweden to eat tapas.
Similarly, I didn’t go to there to eat McDonalds or to have a coffee at Starbucks; I was there to experience the Swedish way of life. I thought about how there is a fine line between adding things to a culture and enriching it, and adding things and completely destroying a culture.
When it come to the main shopping area, for instance, I could have been anywhere in the world; it was no different to being in London or Australia. The same could be said for the hotel that I stayed in.
After I started to walk around the old town I could see that I was somewhere different. This was a special place, and what helped was that I was with a friend from Sweden who could show me around.
A Wonderful Time
Seeing these buildings and finding out about the history of Stockholm, Sweden was thoroughly enjoyable. I even had the chance to write on the wall of a coffee shop – whoever goes there can leave a message or just write their name on the wall.
I wanted to see the Viking burial ground and the 17-century ship, but I didn’t have time in the end. There is plenty to see and do here if you are looking for somewhere different to explore.