Monday, September 30, 2019

 My family moved to Vancouver and shortly after that I discovered that, at some point in time, there is projected to be a gigantic earthquake there. I think I had obsessive thoughts before that, but I don't remember. I know I did like 8 years ago when I had PPD after our son was born. But then kind of went away after a while. But then this giant earthquake thing happened and I could. not. stop. thinking. about. DYING.

And when I say I could not stop thinking about it, i seriously mean i could. not. stop. thinking. about DYING. IN. AN. EARTHQUAKE. AND. MY. WHOLE. FAMILY. DYING. IN. AN. EARTHQUAKE. That is how it started to get really bad. Of course, if you struggle with obsessive thoughts, then you know it isn't just a quick thought "oh man that earthquake sounds scary, hope we dont die!" NOPE. NO WAY. NOT EVEN CLOSE. It's more like: "Oh man that earthquake sounds scary, hope we dont die! Crap, what if we did die? What if only my husband died? What if only I died? WHAT IF MY KID DIED? What if my kids school caved in and then I ran there to find him and at the same time my husbands work caved in and I was searching through rubble to find my son and then a tsunami was coming and I could see the water and oh no I left my dog at home alone what about my dog what am I going to do how can I save everyone, what if I couldn't find my son, what if someone else found my son and then they save him and I die in a tsunami cus I didn't want to give up trying to find him and then he has to live the rest of his life without me..." and....yeah... I think you probably get the idea.

I'll give you another example though, in case you don't get the idea, because it may not have been clear. Irrational thoughts, they aren't just like when you're grabbing a kitchen knife to cut your vegetables for dinner, and then your brain is like "Hey be careful this knife is sharp dont cut your finger!" NO. Your brain is more like "Hey be careful this knife is sharp dont cut your finger! Oh imagine if you did cut your finger. Yeah. Imagine that. Yeah imagine if you just CUT IT OFF. Imagine if YOU CUT OFF YOUR HAND. *picture the blood all over the kitchen* what if your fingers got cut off and you didnt notice and you accidentally cooked them and served it to your family? What if you cut off your finger and started screaming and then you went to the hospital and since you cut off your finger they somehow ended up finding out you had a crazy rare disease and then you just died...This knife is really sharp, dont cut your finger, make sure youre cutting the carrot and not your finger. What if you dropped this knife and it accidentally cuts your dogs ear off or lands right into the top of your foot man that would hurt *oh lets think about how much that would hurt now for forty hours*"

Or I dunno. What if there is a homeless person living in the crawl space under my stairs and every night when I sleep they sneak into my room and stare at me sleeping? Wouldn't that be scary? Or, like, um, I dunno, something like....what if I brush my teeth with this toothpaste but I didnt know it was actually poison and then I die? Oh now Im going to die. 
OH another good one is .... did I lock the door? Yeah. I did. I know I did. Oh but i'll just check again just to be sure. Okay its locked. Is it really locked though? I'll just check again. Okay it's locked. Are you sure you even checked if its locked, though? Just check again. 
Another good one is something like .... You don't even own any candles but what if you did and what if you left one burning right now on the kitchen table and it caught on fire and then everything burnt down and what if the neighbours below you didnt get out in time and they even died and itd be all your fault because of that candle you left burning because you forgot to blow out the candle 

okay so those are just a few examples of random irrational obsessive thoughts that I can remember having. Pretty great hey. The truth is that everybody has these types of thoughts basically constantly running through our heads and its fine and its normal but not everybody obsesses other them. For a long time, I couldn't even recognize that these types of things were like a run away train and I was letting them control my thoughts 100 percent. Like, if I was struggling with one, I wouldn't try to stop it. Maybe I didn't understand that I could at least try to stop it? I don't know. Sometimes they cause such bad anxiety that maybe you just feel really stuck and don't know what to do. I don't really have an answer on how to stop them. But at least I can sort of recognize them now. But I want to talk about them because it's a real issue that lots of people deal with and it's just not normal to be able to talk about this type of stuff, when it really should be very normal to talk about it. One thing I have read and learned about having obsessive thoughts is that it usually shows what you care about, or what your priorities are in life. My thoughts are almost always about a bad thing happening to my family, or a bad thing happening to me and then worrying about how that would affect my family if I died or got really hurt. So basically my family is super ultra important to me. So important that I just can't stop having irrational ocd thoughts about everybody dying! YAAAAY!!! So whatever you worry about, it is a weird manifestation of your values and morals and your priorities in life.

Anyway, like I said, I really don't have any ideas on how to help intrusive thoughts.
So, yeah.
If you have them, sorry. It sucks.

oh another common one is making sure there is nothing inside of a cup when i take it out of the dishwasher, because you know, those "invisible people" with poison might put poison into the cup when its in the dishwasher in the drying phase, so i'd just assume it's clean when i take it out because it just came out of the dishwasher so its gotta be clean, right? So I wont check. then someone will drink out of it and DIE so i should probably wash the cups by hand when they come out of the dishwasher to make sure there is nothing hiding in there. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Are you comfy right now? PROBABLY. Look around your house and see how comfy cozy it is. Sometimes it's nice,and its important to be comfortable a lot of the time. We don't like to be uncomfortable, too hot or too cold, we like things how we like them, we want what we want and we get it and we wanna be comfortable and besides just feeling comfortable physically we never wanna do scary stuff cus well its scary we never wanna grow because it is uncomfortable and we just wanna be comfy because its comfy and safe and secure and so cozy and nice and we wanna be comfortable physically, mentally and emotionally, spiritually and any other "ally" way you can think of that you might wanna remain safe and comfy in. Right now, I have on slippers because it is cold. I have the heat on in my house because it is cold. I am sitting in a comfy little corner on the floor with a nice floor cushion. I'd say I'm pretty comfortable. How about you?

It's a stoic idea to practice being UNCOMFORTABLE in alot of physical ways, as well as emotional and mental ways. Why would anyone want to practice being uncomfortable? The stoic idea of VOLUNTARY DISCOMFORT is a method that can be used to chip away at our desires for the materialistic. It can help you learn to appreciate how blessed you are, and to appreciate the things and stuff you literally already have in your life which is probably way more than any of us actually need. This can also be seen as a sort of training. What if one day all your stuff somehow gets taken away, something terrible happens like a house fire or you get robbed? Well, that really and truly sucks but at least you've been practising voluntary discomfort so you can appreciate whatever it is you have left and you can sleep on the hard floor with a smile on your face if need be.

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?” It is precisely in times of immunity from care that the soul should toughen itself beforehand for occasions of greater stress, and it is while Fortune is kind that it should fortify itself against her violence. In days of peace the soldier performs maneuvers, throws up earthworks with no enemy in sight, and wearies himself by gratuitous toil, in order that he may be equal to unavoidable toil. If you not have a man flinch when the crisis comes, train him before it comes.” – Seneca

We should be seeking out ways, even little ways, that we can make ourselves more uncomfortable, physically, than we would ideally like to be. It will make us stronger. - Alyssa

So, what are some ways we can practise voluntary discomfort? Here are some things I do to practice voluntary discomfort, they might be physical or mental or a bit of a mix of both.
1. sleep on the floor - when our family moved back to Alberta from British Columbia this past summer, we gave away our traditional north american mattresses to a family in need when we got to Alberta. Instead, we now sleep on Japanese Shikibutons, which is basically a bamboo mat and a hard pad. You can get puffy comfortable ones but we got the most thin and basic ones. Our rooms don't have beds in them anymore. When we are done sleeping in the morning, all the blankets and the shikibutons get folded up and put away until the next night (unless I am feeling lazy then they just stay there but I try not to be lazy....) There is alot of research that sleeping this way, or just straight up on the floor, is much better for your health and in particular your back and your muscles.
2. take cold showers - This is something that my family does most of the time. It has been getting colder outside and we have been being lazy with taking cold showers now because it's already cold. But since I'm writing this and about to publish it and say that I do it, I guess I should start doing it again and not be lazy about it. This one is really hard. I really do not like it. It is very uncomfortable. It is very cold. I do not find it refreshing. But I do it anyway. Again, there is a significant amount of research that cold water is actually significantly better for your body than hot water, specifically for your blood. It's also good for your muscles. Also, you use less energy to produce the water so it could help you to reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Don't wear makeup or give into society's beauty standards, or any other standards, really, except your own. In a society that thinks woman need to have on point eyebrows and kylie jenner lips, a snatched waist line and perfect hair - walk around with a naked face. You will learn pretty quickly how to accept yourself, and you will also learn that actually no one cares what you look like, they only care what they themselves look like. If you are not a woman, whatever you are - chances are you feel pressure to be or look a certain way in order to fit in. Well, screw it. Just be yourself. If it's uncomfortable at first, it's probably really good for your mind and soul. Just stick with it and soon you will feel super happy and comfortable in your own skin and with who you are. 

4. Don't have a lot of clothing. 

5 . Realize it's okay not to eat a gigantic portion of food and not very meal has to be perfect.

6. stick your bare hand in the snow and hold it there for as long as you can. 

7. Say no to things that will bring you instant gratification, like another cookie. 

So, there are just a few ideas of some discomfort that you can partake in. Most of those are physical ones but they can drastically affect your mental state and your outlook on life. Some examples of straight up mental/emotional ways to make yourself uncomfortable are stuff like, go to therapy, talk about your feelings or observations or write them in a blog or journal, recognize a quality that you suck at and try to improve it (for example do you yell at your children too often, or are you too impatient, then try to improve and practice self control) 

I wrote this post earlier today and left it until this evening, because it feels like it is missing something, but I don't really have anything else to say so I'll put some really  nice art work at the end  here and be done. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

almost 2-ish months ago, I decided to stop wearing make up. One day I realized that I didn't really know what the reason was that I wore makeup in the first place. I think I have been putting makeup on my face since I was around 15. Definitely when I was 16 because that's when I was emo/goth and I wore about 40lbs of black eye liner every day. I just had a thought, that I've been doing this as part of a daily routine to get ready for the day, for like 15 years, and I never really thought about why. Did I ever make an actual conscious decision to wear makeup? Did I just naturally fall into it because I saw other woman in my life wearing make up? Did I think I needed it to attain a certain look, and did I even want to look like the look I looked like while wearing makeup? I just don't think I ever thought too hard about any of these things, and they are probably important to consider if its something you're going to do to your face, your appearance, every day, for your whole life.

before I continue, I think I had better put in a DISCLAIMER so no one gets offended, because apparently I'm criticizing every one by simply putting my internal thoughts onto a blog. If you like makeup, and wear make up - I think that's great. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with makeup, or with you, if you wear make up. Just because I decided I don't want to wear makeup anymore, doesn't mean I think people who wear make up are stupid, nor does it mean I think I have achieved some high level of enlightenment where as the rest of you are just blind sheep! Wear your wake up! Everybody is beautiful no matter what we look like, anyways, and it really is whats on the inside that matters. Again, i'm not hating on people who wear make up. Just thought I better put that out there or else you might think I'm a bitch wearing a crown. 

Great! Shall we continue?

So, like a year and a half ago I spent like a hundred thousand dollars on a stupid eye shadow palette, just because it was Kim Kardashian's brand. I actually really admire and like Kim Kardashian, even though shes a billionaire, she does a lot of good things and she is actually a very kind human. She is also really pretty. Anyway, it was more money than i ever thought i'd spend on make up and i was really excited to get it. I don't know why, cus even when I was wearing make up daily, I never wore that much or really dramatic or noticeable make up, but maybe I thought Kim's eye shadow would make me prettier or something, and I think I also gave into the insta hype about how pigmented it was and how amazing it was etc etc. Really, it was just like any other eyeshadow I'd tried. The colours were pretty and stuff but it's not like it was ground breaking. So fast forward to about 2-ish months ago when I decided not to wear make up anymore, I actually dropped my Kim Kardashian eyeshadow pallet on the floor and the eyeshadows broke and got all messed up and dusty. So, I stopped using it. Then slowly I just kind of stopped using all my other make up stuff, too. Then I stared to wonder why I ever really wore make up to begin with.

So I thought about it for a while, trying to figure out why I wore make up. Honestly, I couldn't come up with a great reason. The reasons I could think of were stupid (in my opinion) like, "I look better with makeup". Well, no one ever told me I look better with make up, so where did that idea come from? Not that you need somebody else to tell you how or when you look your best, but why did I just automatically assume I look bad one way and good another?  Or another stupid one like "My eyebrows are too thin and look ugly unless I fill them in", again, my eyebrows and just eyebrows and theres literally no reason I should think they aren't good enough. After all, why should anyone even be worried about what their eyebrows look like, aren't there enough things for us to put our energy into and worry about? We really gonna worry about eyebrows? Kinda dumb (again this is my opinion and my personal thoughts. If you wanna get microbladed brows ON POINT, then go ahead!!!!! Youre glorious !!!!)  Basically, I think I came to the conclusion that in my life there are probably more important and better things I could spend my time on. Cus actually makeup can take up alooot of time, like thirty minutes, really? Why should I stare at my own face for 30 minutes when I could be looking at my child or the sunset or looking at words in a book. There are so many things I could get done in that time, too. Like cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, taking the dog for a walk, working on a painting....the list goes on and on.

I just decided it isn't for me. And its kind of strange how I've never thought about this, like I mentioned, until now. I think what is really important, is that how ever it is you chose to express yourself through your appearance, that it matches your soul. I think it's really important to be authentic to yourself. Thats why if you feel like make up is super fun and you love the way you look and feel in it, then of course you should wear it! If it is authentic to you, then do it. Then, I think the next thing to realize though, regardless of if you are wearing makeup or not, is that there are so many more way more important things than how anyone looks. What has been really great for me about not wearing make up is that it really forced me to accept myself. I feel like I never really ever had a thought of hey thats my face and it is what it is. It was always like o put on this eyeshadow so u look prettier cus right now u dont look pretty cus u r not wearing makeup which is needed and required to be pretty. I feel alot more like myself and more comfortable in my own skin when I don't have any make up on.  It is of course so important to be authentic to our own selves, to love ourselves, to respect ourselves, but then theres this whole other side to existing where it's really important to recognize that "identity" and "self" is just an illusion, essentially. I sometimes also think about how there are people in the world, who will never even look into a mirror, or don't have any idea about this North American/Western concept of SELF and IDENTITY. There are also people in the world who have had their opportunity to have a self identity taken away by bad people, and it's disrespectful to the majesty of life to be so consumed with our image and what other people think we look like. But it's also really important to everyones mental health to accept and love themselves. Its just a really balanced thing we all gotta figure out for ourselves.

Another problem I found myself often having when I was wearing make up was comparing myself to others. I would be like o look how good their eyeliner is. O look how good they look w/ that eyeliner on i don't look that good w/ eyeliner on. O look how pretty her lips r, my lips are not that pretty. Then I might attempt to do my makeup in a similar style to someone I thought looked pretty and then I'd fail cus honestly I was never that good at makeup then I'd be like oo boo hoo i suck at life. When I don't wear make up, I havent once compared myself to someone else - regardless of if they had makeup on or not. So, thats a good thing. I also wanted to read about what a stoic perspective on "beauty" would be, although I was pretty sure I already knew. A stoic perspective on beauty would be to radiate your goodness outwards. Pretty much you'd be considered real gorgeous if you had a kind heart and a good soul. A stoic would want to radiate beauty through the goodness of their character. To have a good character, theres four real important virtues talked about in stoicism and they are wisdom, courage, justice and temperance. And of course, no one is perfect, and no one is perfect in having all of these virtues worked out perfectly all the time. But it's finding beauty in the journey to master these virtues, finding beauty in your self, and those around you, and beauty in the small seemingly mundane things, that really makes each of us beautiful.


Monday, September 23, 2019

How to deal with HATERS 


Let's be like Miranda today and tell all the HATERS TO BACK OFF. Here is my list of amazingly, wonderful, spectacular, fantastic, really good, amazingly good, really great, great, good ideas on how to DEAL WITH HATERS. 

First though, lets examine from a stoic perspective what a hater actually is. According to URBAN DICTIONARY, a hater is something like this :
A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

-Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesnt really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock somelse down a notch"

If we look at the teaching of Marcus Aurelius, he also talks about haters, only he didn't call them haters cuz that wasn't a term way back then. Anyway, he basically wrote in his journals that when you wake up in the morning, you need to prepare yourself, mentally and emotionally, to deal with a certain type of people(s). "The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly." - Marcus Aurelius
And I think its important to note, he isn't talking about every single person. He isn't saying he is better than anyone. He's just talking about a FACT OF LIFE THAT THERE ARE LITERALLY RUDE ASS PEOPLE OUT THERE AND THEYRE GONNA GET IN YOUR FACE AND BE RUDE.
Then he basically goes on to say that you need to hold yourself on higher ground than that and try your best not to let them get to you, don't let them get you down on yourself or your outlook on life , and especially don't let them drag you down to their level. He also said that, if you can, to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're just having a bad day. Maybe they haven't learned right from wrong. Maybe they have less life experience than you. Try to forget it and move on, because there are more important things for your energy to be spent on than worrying about haters. Now, thats all fine and dandy. There is another side to this coin though. And that side is called NOT LETTING PEOPLE TREAT YOU LIKE GARBAGE ON A CONSISTENT BASIS AND NOT LETTING PEOPLE SPEAK RUDELY TO YOU AND NOT LETTING PEOPLE BELITTLE YOU AND NOT LETTING PEOPLE TAKE THEIR ANGER OUT ON YOU AND NOT BEING A PUNCHING BAG FOR OTHER PEOPLE AND HAVING THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF SELF CONFIDENCE TO BE ASSERTIVE, LOVE YOURSELF, DEFEND YOURSELF, AND STICK UP FOR YOURSELF.

SO. For these types of TOXIC PEOPLE AND TOXIC SITUATIONS, HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THEM? WELL LET me present to you the first ever most amazing most fabutastic most fabuloustic most amazingnly written piece of advice ever created most fantastic wonderful list of TEN FANTASTIC GOOD IDEAS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH HATERS:

hahahhahhahahahahahahahahhahahHAHAHAHA because chances are what they are saying is, at its most basic level, really stupid. O LOOK AT ME I AM SO ANGRY AND IMPORTANT O LISTEN TO ME I AM RIGHT AND U R WRONG ROAAAH 
ahahhahahahahah whatever. 
2. do not let them think their behaviour is okay. Because it really isn't. And if they think you don't think there is something wrong with the way they treat you then they will keep treating you that way. 
3. Try not to take it too personally because it isnt about you or anyone else. They are toxic and are projecting their toxic waste out into their environment 
4. It is really great to be compassionate but only in certain situations. If someone is a jerk for seemingly no reason, I wouldn't say you need to be too compassionate to them. If someone just lost a family member or experienced a trauma, and they can't digest whats going on and it has turned them into a toxic mess for a period of time when you know thats really not who they are - be compassionate and be patient. They could use a friend.

5. take time for yourself if the toxic person is somebody you deal with on a regular basis. Make sure you practice self care. 

6. Keep trying to improve your own self. Keep learning, keep trying to be the best version of yourself. Keep trying to become more and more emotionally mature. 

7. Remember that you don't need to respond. You don't owe anyone anything. 

8. Don't give in to temper tantrums and chaotic emotions. Be factual. 
9. Avoid negative self talk. Especially if you have just had a run in with a toxic person who made you feel like crap. Don't take their trash. Don't let it seep into your head, then you'll start to wonder ...."Am I really a poo head? Am I really ugly? Am I really bad to be around?" No. You are NOT. That person just wants you to feel bad, because they feel bad, and they are emotionally immature. 
10. Watch this video (created by Miranda Sings/Colleen Ballinger) 

There you have it, everybody. Remember to be nice to each other and don't be the jerk that ruins somebody else's day!  

and P.S
if you have tried your absolute best to be an example to someone, to help them learn how to treat others, if you have put up with trash for long enough, if they are toxic and abusive, if they are mean and hurting you on a regular basis - guess what? Live your life without that person in it. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

       The widely accepted theory for how the universe came into being, The Big Bang, happened 13.8 billion years ago. From that point, millions of years passed as elements formed, churned, and combined, forming rocks, ice, planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe as we now know it today.
  • It did take a bajillion years for stuff to form
  • The same elements are found in everything 
  • The death of one thing in the universe begins the life of countless other things

    Those are some of the stuff and things that stand out in my mind when I think about life, and what it is to be a human. If some particular star a zillion light years away was not born when it was, and did not die when it did, causing all of the elements and matter contained within it to explode outwards and have space carry it elsewhere to being more creations and more life, then you or I wouldn't be here because we are made of those elements and so is everything on earth that we need and depend on to be alive. Over time, human society evolved into what it is today. In some places on Earth, its more prominent than in others, but one thing remains constant - that "society" really tends to care about your status and label. These are totally man made dumb things that don't really matter. The point of it is that no one would be here without the Universe being here first, from Donald Trump to me, from Katy Perry to some old dude working at the gas station, to a school teacher, to a homeless person - everybody is made of the same stuff and that stuff came from the universe itself.

    In my opinion, that is what makes people special. I am not super articulate and I have quite a hard time converting an unspoken feeling or knowledge I have in my soul into something that someone else can make sense of and really understand what I am trying to say. But, in my head, it makes people special. And not in a new age duuuude lets smoke some pot man and talk about the universe chyaaa duude coooooool kinda way chyaaaa. Okay? Not in that kind of way. In its like a reverence.  

    So, if that's what we are, why are we even here? Well, there are of course countless theories and ideas about why people exist. There are around 4000 religions that exist in the world, plus then there are different schools of philosophy and thought, and any human can pick anything they want and decide that is what they think. I don't know much about the entire 4000 religions that exist, and I'm no expert in philosophy. But, what I have looked into and what I do know about from experience in my own life - is that there is usually a common thread linking all these different ideas. That thread is made up of lots of different little threads, woven into a thicker one, which can be woven into us, to give us purpose and meaning to existing. Some of the little threads might be ideas like :
  • love
  • connection
  • selflessness
  • empathy 
  • understanding
  • compassion 
  • dedication 
  • determination

    But, these are just made up words, made up by humans, that have no real meaning, and life has no real meaning, only what you want it to be, and there isnt one right answer so nothing even matters and anyone can say or do anything they want and there is no purpose to being here and we exist for no reason!!!!!!!!

    Well, yes, sorta. But it's cool.

    For whatever reason, maybe there isn't a reason, we happen to have brains that give rise to conscious thought. So, we are lucky enough to make our reason for being. Like I've already stated, there are countless reasons a person could come up with for being, there are different religions one could attach themselves to and live a great life full of purpose because of it. There are also things we shouldn't do in life. I mentioned the threads before, the ones that give us reason - There are also threads we can use to weave ourselves that would have us become quite unhappy creatures. Whatever you are - a human, a dog, a caterpillar, a cat, a goat, a tree, a coral reef, a shark, a mushroom, a blade of grass, a grasshopper - most of us want very similar things. To be okay. To feel like we are thriving. To feel like we have a purpose and to fulfill that purpose. Even if you were something that doesn't necessarily have the ability to have a thought, like a star - a star still fulfills its duty as a stellar object that exists and it has its purpose for being.

    So, if you decide for some reason that you don't want to have a purpose, I guess if that sort of thing tickles your fancy, then here are my suggestions on how to have no purpose and be miserable 
  • be selfish
  • be judgemental
  • be a hater
  • bring other people down to the level you feel youre at so you dont feel so bad about yourself
  • dont help other people in any way 
  • do not ever try to learn anything new

    Those are just a few ideas I can think of that you should add to your list if you want life to be pointless. In a certain essence, life is nothing more than being acknowledge by people around you. If your existence was to sit in a dark corner of a room, alone, never once seeing or speaking to another human being, do you really exist? How can you be sure you a real if you don't have anyone else to bounce your consciousness off of and receive theirs in return? Thanks to my husband for helping me formulate that thought, I probably still could articulate it a lot better - but that's good because one of my reasons for being is to improve myself in all ways I can.

  • for some reason this bullet is here and i cant get rid of it so I'll just use it to manifest my next thought. Simply because you exist, you have a job to do every single day. Your job is to be the best person you can be and to FIND PURPOSE in your existence. If you can't already find purpose in that idea alone, then find it in the eyes of your spouse, your child, your friend, an animal, the planet we live on, the community you live in, your place of work, or any other place or person that you may interact with. Imagine if the sun did have the capacity for organic thought, and decided "yeah Im gonna not do my job today. I exist and countless people, even people I don't realize I am having an affect on, depend on me and are affected by me, but meh. IDC" Or imagine if the force of gravity became self aware and decided that even though it existed and countless things depend on it and use it, it was just gonna not really care. The point is that you exist because you exist, and because you exist you are now responsible for existing in the best manner that you possibly can. In my life, I see lots of examples of this. I see it in my husband who has alot of very vivid and valid reasons to be miserable -  but he wakes up and makes a choice and an effort to be his best,to be a wonderful father and husband, and is a joy to be around and gives me purpose for being. I see it in my cousin, who coaches other people in how to find happiness and it gives her happiness in helping fulfill others purposes. I see it in another cousin whos reason for being is her children and she gives 100 percent of her soul to her kids every single day. My other cousin, who attempts to inspire positive outlooks with her own blog. My son, who is perhaps the best example I can think of, of how to be a great person - happy, kind, forgiving, compassionate. I see it in a relative who looks to inspire and share her outlooks on life in her own blog and her art, and is community minded and considerate. My parents, who are helpful and kind and caring. There are more examples but for now this is enough. So, thanks for being awesome everybody. Keep going.
    I think therefore I am.
    Shouldn't it be:
    I think, therefore you are ?


Saturday, September 21, 2019

While on a walk with my family today, a particular tree caught my eye. What I noticed first about it was how it was the only yellow colour on a hill of mostly green and brown. Then I thought about how it was pretty, and I liked the shape of it. I said to my husband, "look at that pretty yellow tree up there."

He had already noticed this particular tree, as well, but for a totally different reason. It caught his eye because for a split moment, he thought it was a smoke plume from a smoke grenade. My husband is a USMC combat veteran.

Our son didn't notice the tree at all until he heard us talking about it and we pointed it out to him. He noticed other things like the colours of flowers, grasshoppers jumping, and the clouds moving in the sky.

Three individuals went on the exact same walk, but had different experiences, thoughts and perceptions in their minds. Much in the same way, I suppose, that separate people could eat the same meal and not everyone will agree if it tastes good. Except how we experience and interact with the world around us is probably vastly more important if we think squid is tasty or not, but still...same same.

Marcus Aurelius and other old stoic people talk lots about perception, and how really that is all there is to life. Organic stuff is happening at random around us and to us and the only thing we really actually have control over is how we see a situation and how we want to respond to it. Another lesson to learn here, with my tree example, is that there is no one way to view a situation. There are countless ways to view anything and everything that anyone can experience, and it is likely that what you think of a situation - someone will think something totally different - and that's okay. 
 Of course, its not really ideal to think a tree is a smoke plume from a grenade - but that is a whole different topic. The point is though, to realize that other peoples brains do not think and work the same as yours. People's minds are shaped by their life experiences, and by their inherit personality traits, and no one has the same experiences - even if you think you did share an experience - the other persons brain did not think and perceive the situation in the exact same manner that your brain did. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

There is a certain type of art that only a few select people will ever learn. My husband knows it, and so do his fellow Marines. Astronauts know it. Emergency room doctors probably know it. There could even be some every day people working at the gas station that know it, but a lot of people dont know it, dont want to know it, dont even know its a thing, and are just caught in the pull of life. Its like you are drowning in a raging river, being tossed around, being thrown under the water, pulled this way and that, and you just allow it to happen thinking there isnt anything you can do about it because the water is stronger than you. What if you could just reach your arm up, if only you had the will and some strength to do so, and you grabbed a strong tree branch, and pulled yourself up.

The art I am talking about is callled (and I thought of this name myself) not freaking out when things get crazy. For example, pretend you get an unexpected large bill in the mail, and you spazz. You might even cry. You might have a full blown panic attack and your hands might start to shake, you might feel like you're losing your mind, you might suddenly have a million thoughts at once, wondering how on earth you will be able to pay this bill and still have money to buy food and get gas, or pay rent. Your thoughts can go on and on and on, and once again you have started to drown your own self in the river of negative thinking and spazzing. When I did my yoga teacher training,  I learned that in the Philosophy of Yoga, these (negative thoughts and spazzes) are called the Vritis, which is translated as waves or fluctuations. There are these things called the Yoga Sutras (its kinda like a bible of yoga). The Second Yoga Sutra is as follows:
“Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah”
 which means 
Yoga is stilling the fluctuations of the mind”
The point of yoga is to still the fluctuations of the mind, and to reach a state of Nirvana. Which is to reach a state of stillness, a state of meditation in all things.
(also yoga isnt necessarily doing poses on a mat. Like I just said, the end result of yoga is to train the mind to be still. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, and I dont believe the only yoga that is true yoga is yoga postures. One could achieve peace of mind through lifting weights, through sitting and meditating, through painting, through playing piano....etc)

In Stoicism there is something similar and it is called Apatheia. It is the state of mind in which one is not bothered by the raging river of life, and has pulled themselves up out of it, sitting atop a strong tree branch, and observing rather than reacting. It is a state where you do not spazz.

Go back to the imaginary giant bill you got in the mail. Its just bad news, thats all, and the example could have been any negatively perceived unexpected event. Imagine being a doctor, and having something unexpected happen. Imagine being that doctor performing a brain surgery and having an unexpected surprise and reacting in the way our imaginary large bill person did. Imagine being on a space ship, and spazzing when something goes wrong. Imagine being a Marine, and spazzing instead of doing your job. What would be the result? You will get yourself, or those around you, hurt, or worse dead, or just make the situation in general worse for yourself and everyone around you.

Thats pretty much it though - spazzing, instead of doing your job. Marcus Aurelius said something about how if we are alive and are going to decide to stay alive and be a part of this world then we all have a job to do - and that is to be good humans and to only act in the highest good at all times and in all things and everywhere we go - and spazzing is not what we need to do, even when a situation happens that we initially view as bad or wrong. You gotta a job to do, biatch, do it right. Sometimes life circumstances might be that our job is, in fact, nothing more than being human - the best human you can be. 

In the anime Ergo Proxy, characters Vincent, Re-L and Pino become stranded in the middle of no where. This specific episode is titled "busy doing nothing". What can seem like "nothing", can actually be some of the best stuff of life, ever. While Vincent and Pino accepted the fact that they were going to be stuck there until some wind started blowing, so their ship could fly, Re-L was not willing to accept this. There was literally nothing they could do about it. Vincent and Pino passed the time relaxing, playing, having fun and being happy and kind. Re-L was upset. She was grumpy, and unpleasant to the others. She wanted to solve the problem, even though she couldnt, because she cant control the wind. At one point she asks Vince what he thinks they could do to solve the problem. He says wait. She gets all pissy. Re-L was stuck in the fluctuations of her mind, drowning in an endless river of thoughts, which got heavier and heavier on her as the days went by. The time will go by, regardless of if you want to drown yourself or pull yourself above the waves and smile. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

“Don’t be ashamed of needing help. You have a duty to fulfill just like a soldier on the wall of battle. So what if you are injured and can’t climb up without another soldier’s help?” - MARCUS A. 

sometimes life gets hard. Sometimes life can be hard for a very long time or for all your life. Sometimes life can get a bit easier but in your mind you're scared its going to get tough again and you're scared to let go and you get trapped in your mind in a constant state of worry and anxiety. Then sometimes it does get tough again.  Sometimes you can get depressed and get stuck in the darkness of that, sometimes it comes and goes, sometimes it stays. Everybody is different and everyone has different thoughts, feelings, ideas, values, goals, wishes, hopes and dreams. Something that is hard for one person is easy for another, and visa versa. Sometimes people can be strong when life is hard, sometimes people can't. Sometimes when someone seems weak to you, they might actually be trying their most hardest possible, you don't know peoples inner worlds.

But what we do know is that people are made for cooperation. Marcus Aurelius wrote something about that. About how people are made for other people, to help one another and to make the world a better place. Lots of people said stuff similar to that, like Buddha and Jesus Christ, and Odin. 

September 10 is SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY. If you have ever been affected by someones suicide, you know how hard it can be. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of the suffering people who chose suicide as their option must have felt in the time leading up to it. If you are struggling, there are lots of options to get help. Don't be discouraged or give up, don't be too proud to get help. Only half of people experiencing depression or anxiety ever seek treatment, but did you know there is a 80-90 percent success rate with treatment and medication? There is roughly ONE SUICIDE every 40 seconds, think of all the pain and suffering that is being experienced in peoples inner worlds every single second, and some of them dont know what to do about it anymore.... 

but what if we could all just be a little nicer to each other? STOP expecting things of people. INSTEAD - expect things of yourSELF - like to be a good friend, to be supportive, to not pressure others, to be understanding, to have empathy, to be KIND. When you are blessed enough to wake up in the morning, forget your own self and look at the people around you. Your kids. Your spouse. Your co-workers. The cashier at the grocery store. They all have their own inner world, too, and just one kind word could literally save someones life.

It can be really challenging to be that supportive person, if you yourself have struggles with depression or anxiety, or any other problem you feel you may have. Thats why we all need to stop being jerks and support each other. Every single one of us needs support, even the people giving support. So, stop it. Stop being self centred. Stop being a big jerk face. If you can't count on the people in your life to support you, then maybe they aren't great friends, and there are always community resources you can reach out to.

If you are contemplating suicide, if you are having a really hard time, please don't give up. You are worth stuff and are valued just because you are alive. There are people who care about you and want to have you around, maybe you just need to find them. Everyone deals with crap but no matter what, find your inner strength and take it day by day. Get help and treatment. You can do it!

In 1954, Beauvoir (an author) was awarded France’s most prestigious literary prize for her book The Mandarins, in which the main character Anne contemplates suicide. When once she saw the world as vast and inexhaustible, she now looks at it with indifference: “The earth is frozen over; nothingness has reclaimed it.” Her great love affair has collapsed, her daughter has grown up and no longer needs her, and she finds her profession unfulfilling. It’s not only that she feels her life no longer counts, but also existing is torturous and her memories are agony. Suicide seems like an escape from the pain. Clutching the brown vial of poison, Anne hears her daughter’s voice outside and it jars her into considering the effect of her death on other people. “My death does not belong to me,” she concludes, because “it’s the others who would live my death.”

for those of us who have lost friends and loved ones to suicide, what do we do now? I think it is our responsibility to carry that with us, to remember those people, and do try our damn hardest to never let that happen to anyone else. To honour our loved ones by living life to its fullest. That doesn't mean to always be happy and nothing bad will ever happen to you. It means carry their memory in your heart and use it as fuel to kick life in the stinken butt. 

 "You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think."— Marcus Aurelius


Here are some statistics on suicide to show you that it is a huge issue and blow your mind with how many people it affects every single day: 

- suicide is 4x higher among males than females 
-suicide is the second leading cause of death for americans aged 15-24 
- 5000-6500 veterans complete suicide annually in the US (20% of all US suicides)
-LGBTQ+ kids are 3x more likely to attempt suicide than those who dont identify as LGBTQ 

In the end, we are all people capable of terrible and deep emotional problems and we all need support. Drink your coffee, be nice,have a good day and make sure the people around you are doin' the same. End. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

"if its endurable, then endure it. Stop complaining." - Marcus Aurelius

COMPLAINING is something everybody does and complaining is so great isnt it because most of the time we complain about how stupid and dumb and useless other people are and we ourselves are so fantastic and we never do anything wrong so lets fuss about everyone else around us wah wah blah bwalh fuss complain fuss complain, RIGHT??????? WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truth is, everybody can be stupid sometimes and everybody can and do stuff worth complaining about, BUT SHOULD PEOPLE COMPLAIN? NO. AND HERES WHY.

reason number one - I am a genius and am telling you not to.

reason number two - it actually basically re-writes your brain to focus on negative things and stuff

reason number three - it affects people around you (NEURONAL MIRRORING) so unless you want your whole family or people at your office to be a bunch of big fussy grumps you better knock it off.

reason number four - complaining actually releases the stress hormone cortisol into your body and im sure we could all do with a little less of THAT CRAP!!!!

reason number five - i am a genius and telling you not to.....did i already say that? Its probably the most important reason so it should be said several times anyway.

So, theres some pretty decent reasons to stop complaining. Personally, I dont complain too much, but I do sometimes. The way I work is that I do really great at not complaining and just accepting stuff and just going with the flow and then and then and then something will happen that just...jUST ANNOYS ME SO MUCH AND IVE BEEN SO GREAT ABOUT NOT COMPLAINING FOR SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS NOW BUT NOW THIS STUPID PERSON DID THIS AND I CANTTAKE IT ANYMORE SO IM GONNA SPEND THIS ONE ENTIRE DAY COMPLAINGING ADJSFLAJSD;FLJASDFJA ;LDFJ;ASDLFJ RAH RAH RAHR AHRHA RHAF OOOPPPOWEORWEOR ........Anyway, thats basically what I do. I should stop. So Im going to. How about you? Are you a daily, constant fusser? Or do you just smile and nod smile and nod UNTIL FINALLY YOU CAN TAKE IT ANYMORE AND YOU FUSS TO NO END LIKE A GIANT EARTHQUAKE EXPLODING IN YOUR LITTLE BRAIN RAAAAAHHHHHHFHGGGHGHHHH???? Whatever your complaining style is, there are plenty of really good and important reasons to really give it your best effort to STOP FUSSING all together.  Even after you do fuss, do you even feel any better? The other day I complained and was mad about something for like three hours, it didnt make me feel any better, IN FACT it made me feel worse and I felt stuck in an endless cycle of angry thinking and fussing that was really hard to break out. Its just not worth all that mental energy when there are so many happy and nice and important things in life we could be focusing on. So, now that we have established how genius I am and that complaining needs to stop, here are some tips on how we can stop complaining.

tip number one - before you complain, make sure it is worth complaining about. TRUE YES there are probably instances where complaining makes sense and maybe even important, but in this case Im not sure I would classify it as complaining. For example, whats worth raising a stink over - someone honking their horn at you and speeding past you on the highway OR the cashier at a grocery store being really rude to you and calling you an idiot for no real reason? Those are kinda dumb examples but you get the point.....before you fuss, stop and think if its even worth fussing over, or can you just let it go?

tip number two - if youre going to fuss, have an end goal in mind. Fussing for the sake of fussing is what little kids do and its super annoying ISNT IT? Dont be that way when youre an adult! Unless you have an END GOAL in mind with your complaint, for example, a co-worker continually puts you down and you now feel the need to make a complaint to them or about them with the END GOAL OF THEM COMING TO A REALIZATION THAT THEIR BEHAVIOUR NEEDS TO STOP and hopefully it actually stops due to the complaint. Dont just complain mindlessly for no reason.

tip number three - Practice mindfulness/meditation

tip number three - realize that, frequently, something that seems rude or wrong to you may not be considered rude or wrong by another person/group of people and (unless its actually terribly harmful to you or others around them/you) realize that everyone has a difference perspective, and the world would probably be a better place if we tried to understand other peoples circumstances rather than hate them and complain about them. (IM NOT SPEAKING ABOUT ACTUALLY BAD THINGS OR ACTUALLY BAD PEOPLE. BAD PEOPLE ARE BAD, COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM.)

tip number four - be more adaptive and flexible. Pretty much nothing in life goes perfectly! Deal with it, ya'll !!!!!!!

here is a terrible picture of Marcus Aurelius on a horse, created by yours truly. Neiiiighhhh!!!!

I am going to be super aware of the things I say and NOT UTTER A SINGLE COMPLAINT for 30 days straight. If I fail, I have to start all over again at DAY ONE. I haven't complained yet today, SO FAR SO GOOD. If this sounds fun, you should try it, too. But, wont you explode like a giant volcano earthquake mega thrust tsunami, like you mentioned earlier, Alyssa? No, I wont, because I will have more self control and I will figure out a way to digest the stress better. For example, I will paint more or go for more walks or play more video games. The End for now. byebye.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

...anyone who aspires to make observations about mankind should look upon the human scene as from some lofty height...
-Marcus Aurelius

Above is a passage from Marcus Aurelius' meditations. In it, he ponders the idea of having an eternal perspective or a VIEW FROM ABOVE. That is, to leave our individual minds, to leave our individual ego, to leave our individual thoughts, and to view everything and everyone from the perspective of infinity, of everything and nothing at once, of the entirety of everything, and realize that we are all tiny specs of nothing that will stop existing one day....and that all we have is whatever time we get and not to waste it....and that things are not always as BIG or as BAD as they seem, because did you forget in the cosmos, which you are nothing but apart of, you are nothing? If it offends you, you need to drop your ego. If you start to ask questions like, HOW CAN YOU SAY MY STRUGGLE IS NOTHING, HOW CAN YOU SAY THE PROBLEMS I HAVE ARE INSIGNIFICANT, its because you are stuck in your ego and you need to let your ego go. Of all the time that has ever passed and all the time that ever will pass, everyone is nothing but the blink of an eye. If it upsets you to hear that you are nothing, it is because you havent realized your place in everything.

Next time you find yourself upset, overwhelmed, overburdened, angry, crying, frustrated...STOP. Visualize yourself from above. Zoom out of your head, where anything negative is even created because nothing is negative unless you make it so. Zoom out of your room. Zoom out of your house. Zoom out of your area of town. Zoom out of your town. Province. Country. Continent. World. Galaxy. Universe. Are you small yet?

I did this for the first time the other day. I was upset. I let my emotions get the better of me and I was really angry with myself for making a mistake. It wasnt even a huge deal, it could have been even nothing, but I made it something and I fed my negative feelings with negative thoughts and I let myself feel as negative as I could because I was being a grumpy. My sweetest husband came to offer me some advice. He told me to zoom out of my head, and basically everything I just said up there. And I did it. I realized that what I was feeling negative about was really nothing, compared to everything. I realized that it would come to an end, and life would go on, and compared to everything out there, all the people out there, all the things out there, all the animals out there, all the stuff happening to the earth that we dont even see or think or know about, the wind blowing, the bird building her nest, the lion hunting, the little child crying, the husband and wife arguing, the old man dying, a super nova exploding, a spec of dust floating through the air......compared to was nothing. I was nothing. I am nothing. Except, I am everything.

With practice, perspective can change from THIS:


Suffering is just part of life. Some suffer more, some suffer less, but everyone suffers. And that is what should bring us together, to treat each other with respect and compassion, to be a better person than we were yesterday, to always strive to be better and make our world better for ourselves and for each other, and we should do our best to not get stuck in our own heads about how hard we have it because its likely someone has it significantly harder, and we owe our respect and humility to suffering and humanity.  If we could change our perspective to the infinite, we could see the beauty in everything.

"Constantly reflect on how swiftly all that exists and is coming to be is swept past us and disappears from sight. For substance is like a river in perpetual flow, and its activities are ever changing, and its causes infinite in their variations, and hardly anything at all stands still; and ever at our side is the immeasurable span of the past and the yawning gulf of the future, into which all things vanish away. Then how is he not a fool who in the midst of all this is puffed up with pride, or tormented, or bewails his lot as though his troubles will endure for any great while? Think of substance in its entirety, of which you have the smallest of shares; and of time in its entirety, of which a brief and momentary span has been assigned to you; and of the works of destiny, and how very small is your part in them. For all things are swift to fade and become mere matter for tales, and swiftly too complete oblivion covers their every trace. And here I am speaking of those who shone forth with wonderful brightness; as for all the rest, the moment that they breathed their last, they were “out of sight, out of mind.” And what does it amount to, in any case, everlasting remembrance? Sheer vanity and nothing more. What, then, is worthy of our striving? This alone, a mind governed by justice, deeds directed to the common good, words that never lie, and a disposition that welcomes all that happens, as necessary, as familiar, as flowing from the same kind of origin and spring. "
- marcus aurelius 

 My family moved to Vancouver and shortly after that I discovered that, at some point in time, there is projected to be a gigantic earthq...