Energize Your Approach

A lot of problems that people experience in life aren’t really as complex as they might think. Because it isn’t usually the complicated answer (a disease or devious plot) that is at the root of those issues.

It is often a simple lack of energy

Whether we can’t think of that next sentence we need to write or feel so lazy that we can’t get out of bed, energy is what makes us go

Another way to look at this necessary, and often lacking, component is as fuel.  Fuel to power the complex machinery that is our bodies and minds.

And just like cars and computers, we need this fuel to function. If we don’t get enough of it then we are left operating at a suboptimal level – if still at all.

This fuel can take many shapes; from the tangible nutritious food and drink to the more abstract motivational quote. It also can vary depending upon the nature of its purpose – i.e., what need, physical or mental, it is fulfilling. 

Regardless of origin or practice, in order to act and succeed (and to just get through the day) we must be constantly replenishing this fuel, reaching deep for new and more comprehensive ways to fill our tanks so we can just get on with living. 

Humble Beginnings

Life is a series of beginnings. A sequence of habitual actions toward an end. An endless trail of small steps, all leading to a future over which we wish to have some control.

As such, it is easy to get hung up on endings. On that end result. On the succeeding. On the feeling of power and control we feel can only be gained from some extravagant ploy for success and closure.

But no matter how many breakthroughs or epiphanies we may have, we aren’t going to be magically happier or more successful overnight. It takes time to affect any kind of change.

Time and patience.

Two things quite easily taken for granted. Things people greatly overestimate their control over. Especially when those final results are all that seem to matter.

But no matter how attractive the end product may be, the real change comes from the consistent drive to just keep going.

The resolve to continue resolving.

The fortitude to wait.

Why I Wear a Green Lantern Ring

A Green Lantern’s ring allows them to construct anything they desire it to – so long as they have the confidence and drive to do so. It is their proven ideals and virtues that compel me and allow these heroes to control one of the most powerful forces in the universe:

Willpower.

A Green Lantern’s courage and commitment to take action and affect change, their willingness to make sacrifices for the good of others, their strength of character to reject all ills, are perhaps the most admirable of traits one can imagine. That raw power and discipline to confidently accomplish anything they wish, even in the face of impossible odds…

Or fear.

Fear is the archenemy of a Green Lantern, embodied by villain Sinestro and his Yellow Lantern corps. Fear is the one thing that can get under a GL’s skin; sew the seeds of doubt, undermine their confidence and conviction, and leave them vulnerable and powerless to act.

In the same way I encounter fear as the ultimate villain in my life. Whether in the form of physical fear, emotional self-doubt, or crippling anxiety, I know the full power that fear can infect us with in our daily lives.

However, as with a true Green Lantern, I am discovering that I am capable of harnessing that fear, redirecting it into a greater self-confidence and strength of will both to fight back and to successfully soar even higher.

So, in the words of Mike Vardy, a real-life hero who also wears a ring:

As we celebrate a day where the colour green is pretty much everywhere, use that to steel yourself against fear. Every bit of green you see today should stand as a reminder of where you want to go – without fear.

Each of us has the power to be a superhero – if we can only show the will to act and the courage to follow through in the face of our fears.

Point of Diminishing Returns (PDR)

There is a point at which you must stop in your tracks. Where you must take stock of the situation you are in. To review your goals and just how things are progressing (or not) towards them. In reality these points are actually a habitual stream of points, but any journey begins with focusing on that first step…

A Point of Diminishing Returns (PDR).

I have begun to use this acronym as a mantra; saying it and pushing focus upon it whenever I have gone astray. Or gone too far in a direction I falsely believed to be forward. Where I have been distracted from my original purpose into a tangential process of nowhere-getting.

And it truly does help. It isn’t magic of course, but drawing that awareness to the reality of wasting time, energy, and sanity is the first step to regaining it.

Pennies From Heaven

I love rain. It is soft, pure, rich, and reassuring. It gives one standing beneath it a feeling of calmness and harmony with the world. It offers an opportunity to cleanse ourselves and begin anew. It is a promise of things to come.

Rain brings with it the power to nurture all life. Water, the basic element that makes up the bulk of our being, which is yet so fragile it needs to be consumed again and again and again.

We require it and are thus given it. Whether physically or spiritually, we are provided the opportunity to quench our thirst… We have but to accept it and drink.

So when the rain falls, I don’t shrink with fear of cold, dankness, or despair. I embrace every drop that hits my face as a reminder of the vast comfort and infinite promise our universe contains.

I Talked To Someone!

I have always been shy and introverted: uncomfortable in or dreading most social situations, wishing to just be left to my own devices. This is not ubiquitously the case, thankfully, for instance around good friends and family, where I am able to open up and relax. But it is a huge issue I have been trying to address my whole life.

More and more I have been realizing there is something deeper going on than simple shyness. Something more sinister and difficult to approach; hence the years of limited success. Something connected to my intense anxiety and ability to “overthink”…

But before I attempt to delve into diagnosing or naming such an issue, I want to first share a success story that shows I have managed to already make some progress despite the hand I’ve been dealt.

A Story

I left the house. Now, I didn’t want to, and had almost talked myself out of leaving the couch… But I made myself. I put on clothes and socks and shoes, opened the door and left.

I decided to just walk. Maybe to WinCo and get some chicken for dinner – that’d be nice. And I’ve been meaning to go to the bike shop to check out their inventory and ask about their specials…

But I’m feeling very anxious and anti-social, so I decide to just walk on by it, telling myself I’ll come back some other time (as I so often say and never do).

However, as I’m about to just keep walking, I see two people walk in ahead of me. An older couple, who don’t strike me as the biking kind, probably looking around for something for their children.

I figure they will keep the owner busy, allowing me to be subtle, to just look around, without a need to be social. So I go on in and have a look around.

However, the couple leaves almost immediately, muttering about high prices under their breath… I feel bad for the owner, who is just trying to make a living; plus the prices aren’t actually too bad… So I rally up the courage and actually talk to the man.

We end up talking for a good twenty or thirty minutes about an assortment of different things. The weather (a classic), what kind of bike(s) I own, how I used to ride so often yet now do so so sparingly, him telling a similar story from his youth when he was right of of college, bike trails in the area, etc.

Soon I’m asking the questions I’ve been meaning to ask without even thinking. “How much would it be for a full overhaul?” “How much for just a new rear rim?” “Would it be possible to run the winter tires I have on that one?”

Before I know it I have more answers
than I thought I had questions. I’m shaking the man’s (who I know know as Rick) hand and head for the door with a friendly farewell. Once outside I feel amazing, completely rejuvenated and quite possibly the person who I’ve been wondering for so long if I was even capable being.

Life Happens… Deal With It

No matter how you may try to prepare for what life may throw at you, it is never enough. There is no way to see everything coming, or to solve every problem before it occurs. You must accept that and get on with living.

You cannot fix everything at once — it takes time. You must build consistent habits that will bring you forth from the darkness. For the only light is that which you create for yourself.

You must act on your plans. Work the actions within a plan. Always be moving forward, even when every part of you is scared shitless of doing so.

Stop thinking so hard. Stop wallowing in the mistakes of the past. Stop manufacturing a future that does not (and will not) exist. Instead, start taking action. Take chances. Push beyond what is comfortable. Dare to act as you wish you would.

Start living. TODAY.

Faking It

I have grown quite adept at “faking it.” Pretending that I am okay in situations I am in fact not. Especially in public. By pretending things aren’t wrong. That I am not in pain or discomfort. That I am still in control of my thoughts and actions.

I do so in two distinct ways:

Physically is perhaps the easiest to spot (obviously). For instance in cars I pretend I am not nauseous. That I don’t always feel like passing out or throwing up. That with each corner it doesn’t feel like my mind and stomach are flying off in different directions…

Other instances would be in regards to my allergies. When they are really bad I am often left without the energy to complete even normal day-to-day tasks. Or when in public and sneezing uncontrollably with runny nose, people must assume I am sick and contagious and proceed to avoid me with awkward stares…

Mentally, it is most predominantly anxiety that leaves me unable to retain control. When my anxiety takes the reigns, I pretend that I am in control and present in whatever uncomfortable situation I find myself in. That my mind has not been hijacked out of control with no option but to just “get through it.”

That is the key: getting through whatever horrible (or unfairly exaggerated “normal”) situation where I have lost control back to a place where I have regained it and am able to live freely.

No Idea What I’m Doing

I really have no idea what I am doing. I don’t know where or how or what or when I am going in life. How to affect the change needed in order to live better. To improve my health and livelihood.

To get my allergies under control so I am not completely zapped of my energy on a daily basis.

To lose the weight I both need and want to lose in order to be both healthier and happier.

To get back in shape enough so I am able to enjoy soccer and biking and running and walking.

To get a new job: something that has been constantly eluding me despite my intensive application and interviewing attempts.

To be social. To confront my introversion and fear of interaction with others, potential embarrassment, and certain awkwardness.

Most importantly, to pinpoint what is misaligned in my brain that constantly places me in a state of worry, panic, and uneasement…

Beyond that, even to simply have a general idea of what is wrong and how to approach fixing it…

Hell, to even be able to successfully treat the symptoms enough to function consistently at half-capacity…

But I still trudge on. I try. I take risks. I keep living. I don’t give up because I know things will get better. They must. I trust there are those who care enough about me to ensure such. That no matter how disillusioned I may become due to the countless pressures and burdens placed upon me, I still have the willpower and basic humanity to keep living.