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Enthusiast of- and practicioner in many fields such such as: philosophy; psychology; politics; war studies; social studies; ethics; natural sciences and spirituality.

Let me take you with me on a journey of deep thougt, confrontation and comfort.

  • The Will to be (happy)

    The will always want something.Are you free from your will? When is you mind done wanting, done thinking, done troubling, done doubting?You will doubt no more once you have taken action on that thought. Though after your action you might start to show remorse or reminisce about the what now lies in your past. Or analyse it in the perception you have gained in hindsight.As long as you have time and or energy you may let your mind be occupied, for example with analysing. You may do this to a point you may call overthinking.There is always something to think about. what will you gain from it? when will you be done? when you have made a decision? does that mean it is final? or when something more urgent pops up? when something more important comes along? none of the above will bring an end to the thinking. Life is a process. There is always something to do. There is always something to thinks about. Will distraction then, keep us from a troubling mind? Structural escapism in the form of entertainment. In the form of pleasure. Will it keep us from an active mind? It appears that way. Or does it exist parallel to the thinking but overshadows it? That might lie closer to the truth. Escapism only lasts until reality has caught up. Escapism keeps us from an active mind as long as it fills us enough. Distraction, entertainment and pleasure are forms of escapism. The pitfall of these elements of escapism is comparable to that of an obsession, of an addiction. You will need more to reach the same result. The will need a higher intensity in a growing intensity to reach the same result. The result being a temporary escape.The mainstream culture in the western societies abuse this pitfall and convince us we need different forms of escapism. There is always the next hot thing. The next show we must watch, the next piece of technology we must gain, the next hype to pursue. If we think we have something the world already presents the next. If the next is acquired the world creates something new that we can chase. You might criticise this line of thought with the argument that it also drives innovation. Indeed it does, but I am talking about the effect on the individual. On you. Do you think you grow as a person, as a ambassador of humanity is you continue to pursue such things, such fleeting experiences in shallow entertainment? Or do you just follow your will?Do you do what do want or do you do what you think you want? What is the will? The will always want something. Formulated by greater minds than my own called it the monkeymind. By an even more astonishing thinker it has been defined as the ego, the superego, and the Id.Imagine two people. One of them is clearly more energetic, seemingly more convincing, sounding more interesting. That one is obviously trying to get as much attention as is possible. The other is silent, content, so unnoticeable that one might be overlooked.To whom do you dedicate your time and energy? There is no wrong answer. There is no definitive answer. Though, we should be aware that is our choice to whom we listen. To whom we listen is the one we become. We may choose to switch sides because we are swayed. We may choose to for other reasons.There is one pitfall. We may forget the comfort of the silence, of the silent one, the one who is content. We may forget the joy of the turbulence, of the unrestful one, the one who moves. In truth, I think there should be a balance. That there should be a deliberate search for when to be whom. The one, the other, and the one who imagine represent the ego, superego and the Id.We should make a distinction between being physically silent and having a silent mind. Those who are silent or those who try to hide themselves, those who emit they do not want to disturb other may have an overactive or troubled mind. Those who are loud or those who want to present themselves, those who emit they are fearless may have an overactive or troubled mind.The two people I told you to imagine exist only within, they are representations. You cannot always see clearly from the outside who someone tries to listen to within. In contemporary terms: whether someone is extrovert or introvert does not show whether they are balanced within.The monkeymind may take over someone and have them in its control. As any other person, that person will benefit from learning how to listen to the silence within.Luckily there are many tools and guides to support you it this process. This process called life. Your life your way. As with all, awareness is the first step. That is the way of the self. 

  • Stepping Stones

    The way is the way

    A phrase often heard in philosophical thoughts is; “the way will show itself”. How is that true for me and for you?

    A guided mediation or other helpful methods for tranquillity seem to overlook something. They will say the way is obvious, that it will show itself. What does that actually mean? I will describe two different versions of the same wisdom. Choose for yourself with which one you identify most.

    From all particles in the universe there are some which were in the same proximity. Those particle were so reactive and attracted towards each other that it was possible to connect, by chance, by fate, by opportunity, maybe by choice. In the womb of your mother all these particles were gathered. They were moulded, the particles of the world, the energy of the universe all moulded into a living being. This living being though it could exist on its own, sometimes forgetting that one is but a part of the whole. The one needs to find its place in the whole, to feel useful, to feel needed. Because you are needed.

    Imagine that one, you, walking a path. Most of us have little honest guidance so the only way is to move forward. As we move forward one or more paths become obvious to us. Sometimes we can see obstacles ahead, sometimes we see a clear path, sometimes we cannot see at all. The path would slowly enfold as we set each step. Along the road there are numerous distractions, or are they signs? Are the distractions welcome or unwanted? Are certain companions dragging you or strengthening you? What do you need, what is best for you in the view of your complete path? When looking forward your path may appear. When standing still you might or might not have stable footing, so we try to stay in motion. When looking back we can see the path we have walked. Did you choose or did you follow a path?

    Imagine you are in nature, in the middle of untouched nature. There are no paths, no humans to guide you, no knowledge of right and wrong. Yet you have set certain expectations for your journey, your path. But how will you know which way to go? There is no clear path, in every direction you look there lies as much comfort as obstacles but different in intensity. There are some obvious routes to take but there is no path. For example taking the route by walking in the valley, in the shadow of the mountain, but you will never know what lies beyond the mountain. Maybe that route will eventually force you to climb a steeper part of the mountain. The only thing you can do is create a path that is logical to you, that you can feel in your gut is right for you. There is no clear path but there are endless directions, plenty of options. When walking on your path you might encounter a river. You can see this river as an obstacle and avoid it. You may see it as an obstacle but overcome it, by being creative, fell a tree for an improvised bridge, or use rocks as stepping stones. You may even see the river as an opportunity to learn how to swim. Not knowing if you will ever swim again, so would it be a waste of time? Will you follow the stars in the ever changing sky? Will you follow the sunset? Will you follow a nice smell or warm breeze? Will you choose which way to go? When looking forward you might see the first few obstacles in this general direction, but it is not a path yet. When standing still you have the time to become conscious that you can change your direction rigorously because from when you are standing now your perspective on the environment has changed. When looking back you realise you have created a path?

    I believe we can only choose and create based on what we know. And we know we know little. In the last example it might seem an impossible idea to swim, but you will only know in hindsight. In my life I have encountered obstacles I could overcome. Other obstacles took me an extensive amount of changing to overcome. Even some obstacles still exist. And I am sure that more will come. An obstacle is not truly an obstacle if you already know to overcome it. By encountering comparable obstacles you will become better at overcoming them. When we live risk averse and obstacle-avoiding, do we really live? When you encounter too many obstacles to bear, you might be forced to stand still. This occasionally standing still creates the opportunity to look, to see. To look ahead, to look around, to see how you have created your path thus far. The answer is that you are the one who must choose, to follow or to create. You have to do. I must do.

  • Feeling stuck and happiness

    The role of conflict, peace and being stuck in the journey of becoming.

    There has been a point in my life when in stood still for  a long time. At the time I thought it was too long. In hindsight, it is hard to say what would have happened to me if I started to move forward again, I can say something about what did happen to me.

    I have always been an energetic person. An ambitious, social, curious person. Ambitious because I wanted to be someone, and I thought I needed formal merit to show for it. I knew as well that I needed the personal merit. I mean; you need a personality that is strong, wise, mature. I was courageous, I knew that in order to fly I needed to jump and fail and jump and fail. I was always trying so hard. Though, still I was becoming the person I wanted to be. Not in my career but as a person I was. But my self-image was formed mainly by how I could show for it, by formal merit. But I was stuck in my career and was I forced by internal and external forces to stay where I was. It felt like I was stuck in life. All I ever knew was to move forward, to strive, and even though I had my share of failure there always came new opportunities.

    At that point in life, I was stuck. I needed to complete that chapter in my life to jump onto new opportunities. I had no other choice to finish what I had started. My sole purpose was to focus and overcome the hurdle that was equally external as internal. Distractions would not let me escape from my purpose. I tormented myself with poisonous thoughts for a long time, making the obstacle harder to overcome. I was stuck too long already, I was asking myself; how, when and can I still make it out? I never lost hope, but I lost trust. I lost. It felt I lost every day.

    Still, I knew the tormenting was partly internal. Therefore I knew I had to unlearn to torture myself. I had to learn to enjoy life while slowly becoming unstuck. Becoming unstock and finishing that chapter in my life would still take months to a year and it was ongoing for longer. The personal trait that always pushed me forward, that never made me give up was now a burden. It would take time to push forward, I would need time to stand up again before taking the next attempt to fly.

    It was unbearable to be subjected to constant self-torment. The option of taking the source of torment away lied in the future, therefore the option of changing how was handling the situation was the only one. I was forced to stand still, I had no idea what to do when you are standing still. Life, for me, until the forced standstill, was moving forward. Then, I could not move forward.

    At first, I was objecting. Objecting made me angry. The anger made me a bitter person. The bitterness made me sad. The sadness made me numb. The numbness revived the rebel in me. The rebel in me made me object once more. That cycle continued. I relived the circle before I realized objecting only brought forth my own downfall, but that realization was not enough to change me deeply enough. I relived the circle more times. I came to realize that I needed something to break the circle.

    My perception was that objecting was the true way to show myself. By objecting I thought I was showing strength to myself and my environment. I thought that by stopping to object I would subject… and to subject, in my eyes, was loosing myself, loathing myself. This remains a difficult and painful inner conflict of perception until this day. It was a dilemma; in one option I would stay stuck and therefore lose in life and being forced to take a turn in life, but I would not loose myself. The other option was to adopt a loss, loosing myself but being able to revive in the future. The way I describe this took years to form and formulate in my head and emotions. I have had many ways to perceive this dilemma. That is a part of why I was stuck.

    I was not ready to make a decision yet. Being ripe counts only for your life and your circumstances, you can not compare yourself to others, even if you perceive them to be your peers. In life, only you can be ready for your life. I was not ripe enough to rigorously change as person once more. I had to change my ways in other factors of my life to be able to move forward before. It means to really let get of a part of yourself. To let go of your identity. In a certain perception, I had to become less.

    Therefore, being stuck was a much-needed in my process called life. And time alone was not enough to ripen this being. The described cycle of objection had to be broken. In my numbness I had to find new ways to feel, to express, to be. I was in need of learning to enjoy standing still. I always considered myself a reflective person, I still think I was, it already was one of my strengths. Yet, I did not understand how I could enjoy standing still, I perceived it as being stuck. I was standing still in my career, in my social skills, in my exposure to challenges of life. But my biggest challenge was to manage myself when standing still. In chaos, I thrive. In structure, I manage. In peace, I object. In stillness, I act. But I learned; in stillness, be still.

    In stillness, be still. Feel stillness, become stillness, become needless. Let go of being useful, let go of using, let go of your perceived needs.

    For long it felt like life was putting me in place. Putting me in line. Wanting to reign over me. Like a wild horse I did not want to be tamed. But it is not like that. A horse will eventually submit to a rider, it will eventually be controlled. Controlled by an external force. I was right not to be controlled by life, or my environment or my community. But those are not the metaphorical rider. In this metaphor, I am the horse ánd the rider. Only me would let me control me. Only me can control me.

    Only me can control me. Only me would let me control me. And the only way to do that is to submit to the me when I am completely still. I first had to experience stillness to become stillness. I had to make peace with myself. Achievements, compliments, or anything that can be measured will not bring you to peace with yourself. You are already enough to be in peace with yourself. Let go of yourself in order to control your emotions and thought coming from the external. Thus, let go of yourself to control yourself, that is how you can manage yourself. That is how you become a mighty mounted knight in your own story.

  • Measuring happiness

    How do you measure how happy you are?

    When have you found what everything is looking for, namely happiness? How can it be found? where can it be found? Or can it be achieved? Or can it be earned? Then, who does it give, when is it delivered?

    There is a place where you can and cannot find happiness. There is a time when you can and cannot find happiness. That place is everywhere, that time is anytime. I have to be so abstract in the answers, I have no other choice to answer these questions without sounding cliché.

    Firstly, the place where someone thinks one will be happy is a wish, a projection. It does not mean one will actually be happy in that place. The truth is that you can be happy everywhere, I shall not preach that it is not easier in some places than in others.

    Secondly, the place where you are is only one aspect of your life, it is only one factor that influences you as a person. A place is connected to a local culture. A culture brings forth norms and values which are almost certainly to become your framework, reference, worldview and perception. The norms and values will be about social interaction, food, ambitions, spending leisure time etcetera. In short, your culture influences how you see life and how you will live. All places, and therefore cultures, have advantages and disadvantages.

    Here is an example that should be recognised across countries and cultures. Differences between rural culture and city culture about social interaction. In rural culture it is very likely that a there is an established social order. Social interaction and behaviour are acceptable within the range of that social order. The social order is not as complex as one in city culture because you know most people in one way or another. In a rural area most aspects of life and subcultures overlap. People and places are connected, therefore there is an overall established social order. You are accepted as much as you behave within the acceptable range of behaviour. In a city culture it is vastly more complex. Subcultures might never interact and therefore there is a smaller overlapping social culture. Behaviour that is expected in some subcultures might be frowned upon in another. There is a smaller common denominator in how to behave. An evident social order in a rural area might give you direction but it might not be a pure way, or your way. A complex social order in the city area might give you more ways and more choices but you might stray from a pure way, or your way.

    Thirdly, the moment, the time someone will be happy is wish, a projection. It does not mean one will actually be happy in that moment or from that moment onward. The truth is that you can be happy anytime, I shall not preach that it is not easier in some moments than in others.

    Fourthly, the moment or period when you are is only one aspect of your life, it is only one factor that influences you as a person. Time can be presented in many ways. In all era’s there has been happiness and misery. I want to think about your time, my time, our time. The moments, the chapters in our lives. In all chapters of our lives, we have experienced happiness and felt misery. Or was it joy and pain? Or was it pleasure and suffering? I cannot give you those answers, but I can say that we are able to be or become happy regardless of the chapter we live. Your age or chapter in life depicts how much responsibilities you have and how much is cared for you and so much more. Of course, that differs greatly for every person. But all lives have opportunities and risks. Have advantages and disadvantages, though I will not argue that the intensity and difficulty differ greatly.

    However, here is an example that should be recognised across times, places and lives. The chapters of your life differ in responsibilities and caring. I take three different chapters of life in this example. When you are young, when you are self-sufficient and when you become a caretaker. When you are young, hard to say when that ends. Let us say it ends when you have finished school, or left the house, or started a job. When you are young, you are cared and have less responsibility. You are cared for in the sense that you get a form of attention, and, that you will be provided food and housing. In return you have little responsibility. You can be unhappy with the amount of caring you receive but your life is simpler than following chapters. Most however, receive more caring than they give to themselves. Caring and being cared for is a human need for we are social creatures. In this phase, your responsibilities are relatively small and your role in most social atmospheres is clear.

    When we become self-sufficient, when you have finished school, or left the house, or started a job. You are less cared for; you receive less attention and whether food or housing is provided for might be decided by yourself. You decide how much caring you accept; you experience how much caring you receive from the rest of the world, but mostly and most importantly, from yourself. You have more responsibilities than in your youth, some will fill some of your human needs, because you are able to achieve, to build, to overcome. You also experience that caring for yourself and responsibilities take time and effort. You receive (care) less and do more (responsibilities), but how does this influence your happiness?

    At a certain point in life, we become a caretakes, this might be because of you work or private circumstances. You might receive a child; you might be responsible for the health of your parents or sibling. Living with one you love means you take care of each other, in some dimensions you will be the leading caretaker, in other dimensions your love will be. When you become a caretaker, you are the one who provides, you are the one who cares for other. It seems that you receive even less care from other than when you were self-sufficient and that you have even more responsibilities. Even if that is true, you will still experience happiness. When you care for other you receive a lot. They will thank you in a thousand ways, but the one cared for will also be unthankful in a thousand ways, forgive them for being ignorant. You will see their smiles, their achievements with your support. But we must never forget to take care of ourselves, especially when you become a caretaker. You bear the responsibilities of yourself, others and maybe those of an entire community. All I can say is, manage them well. And, since you are helpful and caring you should know no common responsibility is solely yours, it should be shared as well. Your life will be fuller, maybe more tied up, but how does it influence your happiness?

    At last, in all chapters you experience happiness. Though it is happiness in different ways, happiness coming from different sources. From freedom or carelessness in your youth. From growth and selfcare in your self-sufficient phase. From being needed and the knowledge that you are able you can carry burdens and responsibilities, the knowledge you have become strong in your caretaker chapter. Self-love and self-care are just as important as receiving is from others, and that is just as important as giving it to others. We humans need to be a part of a social context and our role within that context changes.

    Our role changes in time. Our role changes with the place we are at. It is us that grow into and assume certain roles. It is us in the place, in the moment. Happiness is influenced by others, by the place, by the time, but it exists in one form or another. That leads us to say that we can be happy for various reasons, ultimately it is us who recognise and accept it. Therefore, I must repeat: ‘That place is everywhere, that time is anytime.’

  • Forcing yourself into happiness

    How can I develop a positive perception?

    Let us be clear from the start, you cannot force yourself to be happy. You can alter certain aspects of yourself and your life, but you cannot force yourself into being happy. Happiness is an overall positive state of being, forcing your way there is counterproductive. There is joy in the active. There is happiness in the inactive.

    Happiness is a state of mind by which you are positive to positive happenings and resilient towards negative ones. From all experiences you grow. Your way of living is one that you have designed or chosen or fell into. Happiness lies in changing your way of living, to keep growing in your way of living. So, there are internal and outer factors which influence your happiness. I am not searching to become a monk who is happy with nothing. I have profound respect for those holy man. With great admiration for them I am inspired to see the beautiful and extraordinary in the mundane. Though I seek a life with more rigorous change, impulses and stimuli that brings me higher peaks but also risk lower valleys.

    Happiness is a spectrum of contentedness. You cannot be equally happy in every moment. You can however, go back to the state of contentedness after a certain emotion or stimuli. When you have time, truly time. Time to just be in the moment, free from stimuli and emotions stemming from the ego. When you have that moment, then you can consciously experience the contentedness. If you are acting on something you are reacting, that is an active mode of being and might bring you happiness during and after achieving it. The contentedness, however, is there when everything else is silent.

    Forcing to feel that content, to be content, is impossible. Because forcing yourself is an emotion and internal stimulus and more at the same time, therefore you ae not free from them, it means you are in the active mode. The active mode is very productive, in this mode you have the power to change, yourself and your surroundings. You can experience joy and sadness in the active mode. You can feel happiness in your active mode, but that stems from your inactive being. Because you are certain, you are confident, you are able to let go and be in the moment because you know you will return to your inactive state of happiness.

    When you are unable to fee happiness it lies in your expectations, wishes and discomfort. It is indeed hard to feel content when you are extremely comfortable, though a little discomfort should not interfere with being content. For example, a little bit exaggerated: most westerners feel content when there is a temperature between 15 and 25 degrees. When it is colder than 15 degrees it might you will change your clothing in different layers or steps. When it is hotter than 25 degrees you will adapt your physical activities so you do not exceed physical limits and get too hot, you might even look how to cool yourself. Between 15 and 25 degrees you will feel content, your body is adapting to the temperature, but temperature is never constant. There will be a cold breeze, or a warm breeze or cloud and our position in relation to the sun will definitely happen. So, your body is adapting all the time to all these minor changes. You might experience those minor changes as acceptable, inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even too comfortable.

    When the change in weather gets too uncomfortable, we will climb out our inactive mode and start being active so we can adapt to our environment. All with the underlying intention to go back to our comfortable inactive contentedness. We force ourselves into doing something about our discomfort. It is different for people when something is regarded as discomfort. Is it a cold breeze, is it the appearance of a cloud in front of the sunlight, is it the dampness, is it the temperature drop after sunset, is it the rapidly back- and forthing of the temperature, is it when summer ends, is it when winter starts? When will your range of comfort change into such discomfort that you need to change something. I am not asking you nor myself to become some Wim Hof Iceman and be able to endure extreme cold and still feel content. He forced his body to withstand his cold, but he accepted that it is not wort to impact his contentedness. He forced his body, and he learned what he was mentally capable of. You and I can learn that a certain amount discomfort should not influence our mental well-being, our state of comfort.

    I live in a fast-paced, high-stimulus, high-expectations society and I see every day how hard it is or people to let go, to sit down and stop chasing and fulfilling the never-ending stirring of needing to do something caused by the overfull, spilling stimuli of our surrounding. We have learned that we need to achieve and expect things before we can sit down, accept and be happy. Most of us limit ourselves to being happy in specific moments like after work, after sports, after a workweek, after a social event. It is because we have so little experience with contentedness, with silence, with happiness. We are challenged with every form of competition in every aspect of life, met with impossible standards. Why should you be happy with a regular glass of water when it could have been cold water, in a beautiful glass, with a slice of fresh lemon, from the spring of youth, with a piece of cloud from heaven. Because we can. Because it is all our body needs. The rest is a need of the mind created by external forces.

    You can force yourself to sit down. You can force yourself to say and think: ‘now I will not act on every thought, every urge, every stimulus, for they are just that. I will let them pass.’ Of course, such forces will surface. You can force yourself to be conscious of them. To be conscious that you do not have to act upon them. To be conscious that if you do there will be new ones. That if you do it does not necessarily lead to less inconvenience. You can force yourself to examine a discomfort and analyse is for what it is. You can force yourself to ask: ‘is it truly worth to be influenced by this.’ If it is such discomfort, please act upon it. Though, I and you need to learn how to be content, to let go. We have to learn that there are moments of activeness and moments of inactiveness. We need both to live balanced.

    We must learn the ability to judge when it is too much discomfort, and we must act. We must learn the ability to judge when it is within our range of comfort, and we must rest. We can force ourselves to go and to stop with the use and help of stimuli. But we must learn how to stop being forced and influenced by the stimuli. There will always be stimuli, we must learn that we do not have to be forced by them. Learning that, is a very important part of learning to be content, learning to be happy.

  • The urge!

    When was the last time you had the urge to do something?

    When you feel the urge, you feel energized. You want to do something, you need to do something. Your inner self tries to move you from where you are in life. The urge may develop itself in different ways and may be experienced in different ways.

    I have become quite good at suppressing the urge. I used to be more enthusiastic and optimistic, and I am certain I will be again. I have never lost hope. I can explain to you and myself how I learned to supress the urge. In short, I choose the wrong challenges and I was wrongly challenged, picked too many battles and, I had too high expectations. Therefore, I have experienced a great deal of disappointments. That is all I wish to say about how I learned to supress the urge, you will have your own explanation of how it happened, it probably happened. It is the reality that we aren’t ignorant children anymore, but that does not mean we cannot be hopeful, curious, emotional, caring, creative, imaginative etcetera. As adult, as humans we should again be able to experience such aspects of living. Those emotions, those are needs and demands in life. They must be expressed and fulfilled, they initiate the urge.

    We have distanced ourselves from looseness and openness and became more solid and enclosed beings. Though, it is the natural way be flexible and adaptable, it kept us alive and happy. When we became more solid, we lost the ability to feel our feelings, to follow our intuition. Rationale, past experiences and (bad) examples have made us weary of change and surprises in life.

    We sometime still feel the urge! They are less frequent and as we grow older there is a risk they will become less and less obvious. To counter that, I try to surrender myself to feelings of high intensity as much as possible. I have been growing more and more robust, now I want to shed that skin and become loose again. Loose is not fragile, loose is resilient. Loose is open to feel and feed your human needs, it is to be able to feel the urge.

    Today, I must accept this is all I am going to write to, I feel the urge to do other things. To get up from my chair and change something!

  • The inexperience of happiness

    How do a positive and negative state of mind differ from each other? How are a positive and negative mood influenced?

    There is much more to write about happiness than I thought there was when I started with this subject. Something that appears so simple has proved to be something extraordinarily complex. Happiness is entangled in the landscape of emotions, definitions, contexts and perceptions. Happiness is the basis and the sum of all we are and are not.

    Happiness is therefore a state of mind, luckily that means that we can learn to be happy. It is an ability that we can train, a train of thought we can train. The more I write about it, the more I understand and accept my own past and state of mind. Also, the more I hope to improve my future state of mind.

    In another blog I have tried to define happiness by using different definitions. Now I will try to explain happiness by comparing it to depression. I hope you agree that both are a state of mind and both states of mind are justifiable. In some cases, the exterior will have a more dominant influence than the interior on your state of mind. Who is responsible for your happiness has been discussed in ‘the responsibility of happiness’ the conclusion was: partly those who influence you and partly yourself. I believe the same to be true for being depressed or any other state of mind, any other way of thinking. In this example I will use two apparent extremes on the scale of positivity and negativity: happiness and depression.

    When someone is happy their behaviour is vastly different from someone who is happy. The internal state of mind is reflected in ones thought patterns and emotional pattern. Ones emotional and thought pattern influence someone’s behaviour. Action leads to reaction and I will try to limit myself into describing and analysing what happens when we react. I take my own behaviour of distinct phases of my life as basis for this hopefully recognisable need to express myself. A state of mind is something long term, your mood is short term and means a small shift within the overall state of mind. For example, a good mood for someone who is depressed might be worse than a terrible mood for a happy person.

    When I am happy and something positive happens there follows a positive emotion and I am likely to magnify the positive thing that happens. I am able to celebrate it and accept the positive external stimulus and therefore my mood will improve. Being depressed is vastly more exhausting than being happy, and I have been so exhausted that I despaired I was not being able to acquire positive energy again. When I am depressed and something positive happens a few things might happen depending on how acceptant I am to an external stimulus. What mostly occurred is that I downplayed the positive stimulus and sort of blocked it from really landing, from actually influencing me. I made it look like it was something insignificant and I did not deserve to have a better mood because of it. Sometimes, I even ignored the happening of something positive, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously (like: ‘give me a break’). Other times, I was able to let accept something positive happened and I let it influence me. Then it felt more like I was relieved of a certain amount of pain or torture than feeling I received something positive (like: ‘I finally caught a break’). It was as if the negativity was weakened for a moment. We must be conscious that weakened negativity is the same as enhanced positivity. But when I was depressed, I would think: ‘I am less unhappy’, instead of: ‘I am happier’ because your mood is still far on the negative scale of possible moods. In short all this means that when you are happy you will allow positivity to influence you more than when you are depressed. Let me tell you: you are allowed to be happy, you deserve to be happy. Let go, let yourself be happy. Stop being an immovable block of negativity. Allow your mood to improve, allow your overall state of mind to change!

    When I am happy and something negative happens two things might follow. When it is something small, I will downplay or relativise the negative stimulus so that it does not influence my mood and overall happiness. When it is something big, I will allow myself to experience a perceived negative emotion in the fullest extent. When I am happy, I am able to cry when something dreadful happens. I am able to experience most emotions pure and eventually return to my normal state of experiencing happiness. I have written a perceived negative emotion because for example sadness is not necessarily negative. I will probably follow a negative influence but that does not mean sadness is negative. It means you have cared for someone or something and that has come to an end. When you are happy you are able to see that it is beautiful to cry when someone has left your life. Another example, when you chased your dream, but something has blocked you from achieving it you will be sad, but that means you had something to live for, that you had passion. Of course, it is sad that it has discontinued but eventually you will see you can dream again! It makes me happy and feel alive to experience any emotion in a pure form, it makes me feel alive, it makes me feel human. When you are happy you will come back to your natural state of being, which is positively content, it is happiness. When you are happy you are resilient, you are ably to experience an emotion in the moment but eventually return to an overall (somewhat) positive state of mind. Well, that is completely different when you are depressed.

    When I am depressed and something negative happens one thing will happen, though in different possible magnitudes. It will make me feel worse, I will let it influence me. Where a positive stimulus might not move a depressed person, a negative stimulus will most certainly will. The sadness of depression is not the emotion described above that you experience for a short amount of time. The sadness of a depressed one is a dragging, energy-absorbing, and constant. I will compare it to a change in a state of your physique. When you are happy and something terribly negative happens would in the physical sense be: ‘You are healthy, and you break your leg it will hurt for a short amount of time, but it will heal up nicely’. When you are depressed and something negative happens would in the physical sense be: ‘You have one unhealthy bad knee that never recovered and you break your other leg, due to the extra stress on your bad knee the situation will worsen. But when your good leg is healed, your bad knee might not recover completely to the unhealthy bad knee state that it was before. You will still have a bad knee and it probably grew worse without sight on it ever healing.’ Your state of mind, or state of physique is able to move in the negative direction but the idea of it moving in the positive direction seems impossible. I am here to tell you that your state of mind can be changed, your train of thought can be influenced. The way you react and cope with external factors can be adapted. You are able to become more resilient. You might have forgotten how to overcome and heal yourself but that you are still able to, you can relearn it. Allow yourself to heal. Please let yourself experience some love and light and happiness once in a while. It is okay to enjoy a smile, a compliment, a hug even if you give them to yourself. Because you do deserve them, you need them because you are a human being. In short all this means that someone who is happy will allow oneself to experience a perceived negative emotion and will return to the normal state of being. One who is depressed is numb to positive stimulus, but a negative stimulus might bring one down further on the scale of negativity. A depressed one is unable or/and afraid to let go and experience an emotion purely because they consciously or unconsciously believe that they are able to bounce back.

    An external force or stimuli will lead to a reaction. The visible and invisible reaction of one who is happy and one who is depressed are vastly different. The stimulus is the same starting point that will initiate different tracks on which the train of thought and emotion will pass. The tracks are the sum of everything that is built by our own effort and the effort of others. What has been build can be broken. What has been build can be fortified.

    Allow yourself to change. Notice how your train of thought and emotions ‘choochoos’, do not condemn if it differs from your ideal. Start by just noticing what you truly experience.

  • When will there be change?

    When will I allow and support myself to change? A contemporary example.

    Changing is hard. Changing is simple. You are changing every day. In the physical sense you change every day. For example, your hair grows, your nails grow and new layers of your skin are generated. You do not have to do anything and your physique will change. How magnificent.

    Though, it changes in more miraculous ways: your overall body and health changes every day. In my blog ‘hurdles to happiness’ I have written about how food influences your body. You truly become what you feed yourself with; the water you drank yesterday will flow out of your body and the water you drink today will flow out tomorrow.

    You are changing every day. In the mental sense you change every day. For example, you appreciate something for the first time, or more, your attitude towards something has become more positive, you have overcome a certain factor that influenced you yesterday. You do not have to do anything and your mind will change. How magnificent.

    Though, it changes in more miraculous ways: your overall state of mind changes every day. In my blog ‘an emotional hurdle to happiness’ I have written about how ‘mental food’ influences your mind. With mental food I mean what you expose yourself to. For example, to what social context, to what media, to what form and theme of entertainment? You truly become what you feed yourself with; the news you digested yesterday will form your emotion and opinion about today, the information you absorb today will shape your attitude of tomorrow.

    You and I change every day. Much is unconscious but we can be made conscious about such changes, and we are aloud to appreciate those natural ways of becoming. We can change ourselves into a direction if we are conscious about it. I try to find and surround myself with stimuli and incentives that change me into my chosen direction.

    Rigorous personal change doesn’t happen often because it is usually caused by a drastic external change. Modest personal change happens all the time and is caused by minor external change. We often have a choice in what context we are subjected to, even if it is just certain factors. A contemporary example: you try to overcome your impulses to use social media but it is hard to resist it. With good reason because the social media machines are designed to be on your mind as much as possible so you generate ‘screen time’. ‘Screen time’ is the amount of time that commercial businesses can influence to become and therefore consume in a certain way. If you would limit your screen time, you limit the amount commercial businesses try to turn you into their ideal consumer. But remember you are still influenced. Your interests partially decide what pages you like and follow. The other way around, the pages you like and follow influences your interests and buying behaviour.

    By using social media you will be seduced to use it more and more. To be entertained or bored more and more. If you keep yourself exposed to the same pages, those pages will strengthen their position in your perception of the world. For example if you follow travel pages your desire to travel will grow. Your perception of freedom and goals in life will grow to revolve around travel. Thus, the amount of screen time influences your attitude in life. In other words, the way you expose yourself to streams of information will influence your state of mind.

    Still, knowing and understanding the above described phenomena your behaviour is unlikely to change. These machines are very well designed and I understand and forgive everyone who obsessively uses social media. I might need a whole book to convince someone to actively change their behaviour towards social media usage. Now you know how you are influenced: If you want to change your amount of ‘screen time’ that is great but you might need to find a different way to spend your time. It may be active, productive, or relaxing, however you think it should be spend. Remember, durable change often takes some time. We didn’t start using social media with as much ‘screen time’ as is done nowadays. If you do not want to change your amount of screen time that is completely acceptable as well. If you do not want to actively change you should not be forced to. But you might persuade or let yourself be persuaded to change. There are enough pages that have a lesser intent to turn you into a consumer which you van follow. Without actually changing your behaviour your long term attitude will be influenced.

    I will be influenced. I will change. I am grateful in the many miraculous ways I do. I determine the dimensions and directions I change in. I am. I become.

  • Strive for happiness, avert misery

    How can I?

    Heaven is on earth, hell is on earth. I am not a religious person, but I do believe that religious stories have meaningful messages. They are also full of powerful words and metaphors. One of these metaphors is the existence of heaven and hell, different religions use different words for the same general phenomenon. Heaven and hell are places of consequence of a way of living that is reached after death. Some religions even predict that heaven or transcendence or Nirvana can be reached during one’s lifetime. If that is true than the opposite must be true as well: hell can be reached during one’s lifetime. In a metaphorical sense, I believe in these statements.

    I believe that the mainstream of this society turns you towards living in hell. Though, by overcoming the mainstream you might be able to perceive a piece of heaven. By hell I mean a state of suffering, a state of misery. By heaven I mean a state of blissfulness of joy. Much lies in between and both exists at the same time. Because how do you know what heaven is when you do not know what hell is. How do you know what hell is when you do not know what heaven is. To ability to reach one of these places is different than knowing and heaving experienced (a piece) of its existence. We all know both states of mind, or both metaphorical places that embody a certain state of being.

    We know both states of mind, we can see them everywhere. By comparing two things we tend to put them in opposite categories. When something is compared, according to certain features, to something else then one thing will be score higher than the other. Therefore, one thing will be categorised as strong, beautiful, superior, victorious, or happy, the other will be categorised as weak, ugly, inferior, victimized, or miserable. The judgement depends on the chosen features. Mainstream judgements are made by externally imposed features. We have learned to compare different objects not by our own judgement. We have learned to compare objects instead of appreciating something on its own, as it is. Emotions like resentment, jealousy and a sense of victimization are promoted. Perhaps to direct you to think and live and consume in a certain way. You are unconsciously taught that happiness lies in superficial impulsive pleasures and products, just as I am.

    You and me, we are both becoming increasingly conscious because in times we feel the misery. It happens when we are exposed to negativity, then we are subjected to feel negativity, for example in the form of guilt, distrust, or hopelessness. In other words, hell is well represented. Luckily, I see a trend in the opposite direction: a growing representation of heaven, of hope, of light. For every with rubbish filled scenery of nature we see a person or fund cleaning it. For every person hurt we see people standing up for them. Every movement has a counter movement.

    Both heaven and hell can be used to describe the planet we live on. My state of mind lets me be in either place, I am able to train, to transform my line of thought, the flow of emotion. At first it seems hard, but I am getting better at it. A metaphor of this transformation is that you are able to appreciate the flower growing from cracked concrete. We have to be told that it does not have to feel the way that is generally felt. Life should be enjoyed, despite the hardships. You have to be able to see the beauty of life to overcome the struggles of life. Celebrate overcoming, accept positivity. You may accept love, you may celebrate positive energy.

    I must accept that I have I have been influenced too much to the part of society I have been exposed to. Now I must accept that I need to train myself to become the opposite. I have been exposed to learn to compare with the wrong features. I let myself be taught to think and feel myself towards feeling miserable. And yes, mainstream society sustains negative emotions. All that is not truly me, it is not normal. In fact, it is extremely abnormal and irrational to let a whole society become less happy. We must focus on our own internal happiness, not by denying other theirs. But by articulating our own hopes and dreams vividly. Write, speak, draw, create something positive, then it has already become real. Turn your vision into a plan or make something without a goal. Do not compare, just enjoy. Let yourself emerge in creativity, in your own rules, in your own positivity. Eventually you will shine your positivity onto others. To end in religious terms: ‘thou art light!’

  • The responsibility of happiness

    Who is to blame or to thank for your state of mind?

    The answer to this question should be easy right? For me, it is me. For you, it is you.

    I want to write about it the ability to influence your own state of mind. I struggle with negative emotions. I have a responsibility to fulfil but I am too self-absorbed to get it done. I am too much in my mind to get it done. It goes deeper than simple procrastination or something like a writer’s block. I am scared. I blame myself for being scared, while I know that is not progressive. Thus, when I intended to do or to let something but eventually it does not become reality then I give myself negative energy in three ways. When I do get something positive done or when I let something negative undone, I only let myself feel a little proud and relieved. I tell myself that it is silly that I am proud about taking such a small step. also, I meant to take that step long ago and I unconsciously blame my past self. Thus, when I intended to do or to let something and it does become reality then I give myself positive energy in one way and negative energy in two ways. I am rationally aware of this form of conduct in my brain and I blame myself for letting it become like that. I want to change my way of thinking because it is not logical at all. I can explain how it came to be like this but that does not mean that overall it is a logical way of thinking.

    I limit myself in performing actions that bring me joy and in experiencing joy. I am in a process to change that. I am aware that closing this chapter in life gives me ultimate joy, I let one thing influence my overall emotion and state of mind. With that aspect, I do what I can, but I still feel guilt that limit myself. The guilt and negative emotions appear to be staying. Though I am closing in on closing this chapter of my life, I do not experience more happiness. I am close to terminating a pressing negative responsibility and phase in my life. I expected that when the end was becoming closer, the negativity would disappear as well. But I experience that tough the end is becoming closer, the negativity maintains it intensity. I feel that by experience negative emotions for so long I has become a part of my thinking. I have turned sceptical and pessimistic. Maybe, the cause lays in that I feel that I am not doing truly everything to end this phase as fast as possible, I am extending this phase unnecessarily. I am afraid to confront, I am afraid to lose hope again, I do not want to feel weak again. All that is understandable, but the lack of courage makes me undeserving of overturning myself. I grew comfortable in my own discomfort because I know I can endure the lasting discomfort. It means I am afraid to move forward.

    Thus, it can be explained why I have this way of thinking. The way of thinking can be explained as a reaction to my circumstances. Though, I cannot blame the changing exterior circumstances for continuing the same negative internal reaction. I should be thankful that the circumstances have I changed. Now, I want to continue changing my way, my way of thinking, my way of experiencing. I am responsible for shaping my life, that means internal and external. I have been able to reshape my external life. With that I favourably influenced the flow of positive interaction and energy into my life. Therefore, I am genuinely happy in many moments. My overall state of mind is therefore growing positively. I am acting on my responsibility of happiness.