Emotional existentialism, ego, deep thinking..brain, heart and spirit don’t think alike and yet they feel one another. My name is Kim Johnson and I do declare this a lengthy Vlogcast.

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“Vlog 5, in the last Vlog Vlog 4, I had spoke about my personal experience as a human experiencing being human, um, when I realized there are five things I could be doing in any given situation, you know story aside, personal experiences aside, personal beliefs aside, personal convictions aside, 5 options: I could stay in the situation hope for it to change, I could change something about the situation, I could I could leave the situation I could accept the situation or I could change how I perceive the situation and for the longest time one of the one of the most challenging situations, always, for me are relationships with any person, it doesn’t necessarily, it’s not even restricted to romantic, a romantic kind of a relationship, um, it’s been a journey with my, um, I’m going to speak of my relationship with my parents, for example.

I didn’t know until I knew… that I can actually still care what my parents think, particularly with my mom. My relationship with her has improved ever since I started doing this, which is understanding that, even though I care what she thinks of me, even though I would love to have that external validation from her for everything I do in my business, in my life, in my job, in my in my social life as well as personal life, getting that external validation would feel amazing, don’t get me wrong but really, when I stopped trying to get it, I still cared what she thought about me. I still care to this moment, to this very moment I care what she thinks about what I do. I’ve learned from myself when it comes to my situation in question which is in my, in my relationship with my mom, I realized the one– what I wanted to do was to maintain the relationship and spend time with her still.

So leaving the situation is not what, what resonates with me. Um, sitting there and just hoping things to improve definitely was not the option for me either so that’s two down so three more. Um, I could accept the way the situation was mmm I wasn’t really happy with that either. Basically tension and arguing and debating and all of that trying to point fingers and this and that didn’t resonate with me either so there were two options left… I think change the situation which I tried many, many, many times…doesn’t change the relationship dynamic for me anyway.

So the last thing left was to change how I perceived the situation. It was a huge game-changer for me. I’m like, I enjoy my time with her. Yes we still have our differences but I change the way I I look at the relationship, I change the way I perceive.. you know I am even aware, I’ve become aware of the perceptions I have and I go, “Wow… that’s interesting that I thought that, that I felt this way and I got triggered here and just understanding that it’s not her it’s not me it’s just this is how this is what’s happening so kind of looking above the situation and I found that when I replicate that with everything, I can break my own rulebooks every single moment of every single day.

I always tell the Kindred Spirits in my life, Kindred Souls that I don’t expect anything from you. I don’t expect you to accommodate me. I don’t expect you to stop what you’re doing. I don’t expect you to scratch my back just because I was there–you don’t owe me anything there’s no binding to me, there’s no expectation that I have, the only expectation I’ve ever had on anyone, and that’s something that I determined for myself, is for people to do what they want to do. Anyway, I digress.

The main thing I wanted to share about my experience over the past… I mean through my twenties pretty much. For those of you that are just hopping on this Vlog train of my personal experience as being a human, my human experience, experiencing being human, feeling the feels. Um, I’m 30 years old. All through my twenties is really when I came to the self-realization and self awareness of just how strong my ego was in my life and essentially what that means is victimizing myself, I’m getting angry at people, I’m blaming the world, I’m feeling very strongly about how my beliefs, and my truths and really foisting that upon other people to achieve my agenda and it was a lot of, “I, me, I, me,” um, and then rationalizing.

I was explaining in a couple podcasts blogcast, vlogcasts ago, that, um, I was addicted to negativity. I’m recovering from being an addict, addict of negativity, actually and then level 4, I’m I’m referencing this tool that I use for my coaching business — it’s called the Energy Leadership Index Assessment— and basically levels 1 through 4: victim, anger, rationalizing and, um, compassion. So, there’s a lot of burnout that I was experiencing and a lot of that came from I care what people think, I don’t want to offend anyone, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, I don’t want to make someone feel uncomfortable, I don’t want… it was all about minimizing myself and when I didn’t get the validation and permission from outside of myself to be who I was trying really hard to be, even then I didn’t know what I was, I knew what I wasn’t. I knew what I was because I knew what I wasn’t and even though I wanted to, to improve my experience as a person, the more I, I actually found the more I stood and tried to fill space and take up space and go, “Enough is not enough for me anymore.”

I don’t want to play it small anymore, I don’t want to… I don’t want to be angry anymore, I don’t want to foist my feelings, and opinions and truth and beliefs on other people and I don’t want to keep criticizing others, I don’t want to keep casting judgement on others, I don’t want to keep jumping to conclusions of how people are, just to boost my ego and I did that in my relationship with my mom!

And it only recently came to my realization, came to my awareness that I was doing that, I was doing that but then you know, leaning into that like why is her validation so important to me because I care, I care what she thinks about me and I mean for me I’ve come to the conclusion that of course I care what people think about me but I’m not going to let, I’m not going to shrink and minimize myself and and just keep catering to everyone and everything to make sure everyone’s safe, everyone’s comfortable, everyone’s got what they need and then now I can take my step.

Like, that’s just not how I want to exist…of course it’s a situational thing I’m not saying that just, WHOA,  just keep stepping and not paying any mind but the thing is and what I shared in a previous Vlogcast is that just because you do something, say something, act a certain way and someone gets hurt, someone feels left out and I’m specifically talking about those of you, just like me — Kim 1.0 or even Kim 2.0 I consider myself Kim 3.0 right now, um, you keep copping out, I copped out all the time I’ll be like, “Oh you know, I can, you know I did this to someone oh I … something so I can’t I’m not supposed to, people said I’m not smart enough. the little voice in your head, the little voice in my head, I don’t know about you, I can’t speak for you, but for myself a little voice in my head kept telling me, “You are not enough to improve your experience, you are not smart enough, you have no business doing this, who do you think you are? You are hurting other people this, that, this, that.”

Pain is inevitable, hurting someone’s feelings is inevitable. We are not psychic, we can try to be empathetic, we can try to pick up, we can try to pick up and be sensitive to these things but I have been there for almost all of my entire life putting everyone before myself and when I look at it in a different way and I changed my relationship with my love, “Am I really loving or am I doing this to make myself feel better? It’s really a sense of accomplishment, that sense of purpose, that feeling you get from doing something, is what we chase. It’s the feeling, it’s not the actual deed. It’s the feeling.

So, what if, this is something that I, I gradually started shifting my mindset with and attitude when I realized that I was just sabotaging myself, pushing people away, lashing out and when I was fooling myself and brainwashing myself into believing and I was improving a situation when really I was just on this hamster wheel of self-destruction. Getting in my own way, shrinking, staying small, playing it safe, let me tell you, a lot of stuff came up when I was building my business, a lot of stuff that I thought I had progressed past, really, I was just hiding.

I had this conversation with a big brother from another mother last night about hiding in success. The moment we think we finally work some, through something, something else will come up that’s potentially even more challenging than the last feat. Having control of a situation is an illusion. Figuring yourself out is an illusion. We’re not even this, I’m not even the same person I was 15 seconds ago. It’s, it’s, I’m not, I just am. I just am.

I mean I have my moments where I catch myself and I go, “Wow, what brought me to do that? Is it some insecurity? Was it me seeking validation outside of myself? Is it making me feel good? Am I doing this to make myself feel good? So, really paying attention to, raising my awareness to how I’m showing up and that’s usually the energy I attract. I came to that realization probably just before I started working for Amazon and that was about a year-and-a-half ago. I was so angry and no matter what I did at Amazon: threw a fit, shut down, lashed out at people, push people away, was really, really, really rude…it didn’t matter. The only person really suffering the most was myself.

Goes back to the theme of the last question in the last vlogcast of, you know, you’re fooling yourself, we fool ourselves into thinking that things will improve eventually. It’s not going to improve if you don’t change what your approaches or your method. You’re just going to, it’s just gonna stay, um,  until we can relinquish ownership of feelings, relinquish ownership of memories, relinquish ownership of everything, that’s when we start to take things less personal, we start to and I, honestly, when catch myself, um, you know the ‘I, me’ debacle when I catch myself doing that, I truly pause and I go okay look my human side, it’s ego, it’s not even me it’s just ego. That’s it, just ego. There’s nothing wrong with that either and really loving unto that, that aspect of a human experience, taking things personal. Um, it helps to gain clarity about what is it that I that I feel uncomfortable with?

What is it that I’m doing? Self-sabotaging. What is between me and enjoying someone’s company, what is in between me and doing something new? What is in between me and not making another vlogcast? Is it about me? Who is it about? Is it about the ego? My ego? Is it about boosting a reputation? Is it about getting views? Is it about, is it about, is it about… it’s all self-reflection. It’s all asking empowering questions. it’s all being receptive to different perspectives being open to different points of view, being cognizant that we don’t own… anything. maybe that sounds a little woosaww. But it took almost a decade of coming to realize my self-sabotage, to check myself and, and like I leveled with myself. I leveled with myself and I’m like, Kim …Kim. Do you really, really want to stay feeling this way? I’m like, of course not but I don’t know what else to do! If you don’t know and you catch yourself doing one of these four things: victimizing yourself. So, if you’re resisting these four things resisting [admitting to]: avoiding, ignoring, suppressing, denying…you’re self-sabotaging and you’re also brain washing yourself into being married to your ego. So you’re really not self-aware– you’re stuck..

Victimizing yourself: so being at the cause of everything, no responsibility, deflecting responsibility, blaming other people for how you feel, blaming other people for your how you are, experiencing being angry all the time, how you are feeling righteously right all the time and just getting stuff done, like really imposing your will on other people in in a retaliatory, combative, self-defensive way.

Rationalizing, if you catch yourself rationalizing all the time you pretty much are going to be the world’s doormat. That’s how that works and then when you’re level 4, you put everyone else before yourself. I think, I mean honestly staying in those four levels of ego, really still, really, really strong ego, it’s toxic — for self and potentially for other people.

So, the energy you put off is the energy, you get back, um, in any given moment and it’s a matter of do you want to choose the kind of energy you attract or just float around and be confused and stuff. For me I was tired and then I thought, “There’s got to be something more than pushing product all day long, taking orders from other people all day long and being around a bunch of people that hate their job, hate their lives and are just working themselves to death. So, I decided to take a calculated risk and and go where I felt I needed to be and that was meandering into [the] personal development realm and it was, it was and still is the most awakening, healing…experience and getting to re-experience what I went through for 10 years and even more and looking at that in a detached way and going in hindsight, “Wow, I was doing that or the ego was so strong and just looking at it from that point of view it makes complete sense why I felt and acted and behaved and was so lost for so long because I had convinced, I, I felt convinced that everything was okay… it was not okay, not for me.

Question: what area of your life have you settled into and bothers you a lot? I’m talking like you know how people say they have a pebble in their shoe? I’m talking about a couple pebbles in your shoe. So is there an area in your life, What area in your life are you settling right now… and it doesn’t feel good? The amount of, I mean what are the disadvantages and advantages to continuing. That Insanity? Just, just a question? What do you feel are the advantages and disadvantages to that one area in your life that doesn’t feel good to continue in that pattern? Just a question.

I want to plug a book. I don’t get royalties from this by the way. It’s a fellow colleague of mine, uh, her name is Shelby Forsythia. She has a podcast, um, let me mirror this so you can see it. Okay, so she has this book Permission to Grieve and she also has a free podcast called ‘Coming back: conversations on life after loss.’ And I’ll put the link below [here]. It, It, so the little tidbit on the front says, “Creating Grace, space and room to breathe in the aftermath of loss.” And loss can be anything not necessarily losing a loved one but loss of any kind. Graduating the reason why I share this book is because I think some of us need permission, a lot of us need permission outside of ourselves, to be the fullest and most true expression of who we are.

We care a lot about what other people think and trying to get permission and validation and affirmation, reassurance from outside ourselves can be a hindrance because we’re so consumed with what other people think and we’re scared and that is okay, completely normal. I guess what I want to do right now is to give you permission to grieve if you’re ready to grieve the loss of who you used to be. It’s only there as a way to say you want to improve the situation in your life. If you feel like there’s nothing to be improved, then I am, I’m happy for you, you are good. This, this vlogcast has nothing to do with you. This is for people that genuinely feel not good about continuing this cycle in a certain part of their life.

So, I’m giving you permission for those of you that are ready for that and if it’s you know that the advantages far outweigh the advantages of staying in that situation then what are you going to do, who do you know, who can you talk to that can that can get you out of that insanity? Um, My name is Kim Johnson, I’m a Mental Health Skills Lifestyle coach at Grounds For Clarity, LLC. You can find me at grounds for clarity.com

Thank you for tuning in wherever you are have… make, make your morning, your afternoon your evening the way you want it to be.”

Regards,
Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

Feeling stuck, alone, down and without a purpose in life? Would you like help with that?

Groundsforclarity@gmail.com

My name is Kim Johnson and I am a recovering addict…of negativity.

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This is vlog day 3 [technical difficulties with the video again, sorry].

“Thanks for tuning in again for hearing me out about my experience and just being human being coming to terms with the fact that I was a silly ass human being for most of my 20s and I can laugh about it now and I find that refreshing. Um..Here’s a picture of me when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was that outdoorsy, head in a book, do chalk outside, rollerblade, bicycle kind of kid and I did very solitary activities. As a kid, we don’t judge ourselves for some things like that we don’t go, ‘Well, you know probably socialize a little bit and probably should get, you know, get out into the world and mingle with more people.’ You don’t have those kind of thoughts nor do we think what might be a disadvantage of developing that kind of a pattern, that lifestyle later on for when we’re older. I know I’ve heard time and time again, ‘Humans are social creatures.’

Well, yeah but that only works if everyone wants *laughs* to be social. So, Um..In my twenties, it was very textbook. Like, self-care was very textbook to me because I didn’t grow up with my parents weren’t like, ‘Alright, time to go do art now so we can express ourselves or let’s talk and have family time, play games together, go out into the community, do some community service, I didn’t grow up with religion as part of my life and community, not really. All my relatives were out of state for the most part: out of City, out-of-state, out of mind, out of country. So, when I graduated from college these thoughts bombarded me of, ‘Oh, I should be exercising, I should be taking care of my body now, I should be eating right, I should be finding a career based off of my degree. All of these shoulds started piling up and then in the meantime I’m one stroke away from having a mental breakdown about something that I didn’t even know existed which was my mental health which is part of my health. *laughs* So, for years, for years I was struggling just as a person.

I didn’t know how to feel, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to engage in a conversation where I could enrich someone’s day rather than bring it down. I struggled. And now I have this opportunity to reflect on those things. This is what this blog is about. It’s about reflecting on my experience as a human being. What is happening [got distracted by something else]. My experience as a human being. Has been, honestly a comedy. Like, a dark comedy. Can’t tell you how many times I got in my own fucking way.

I really got in my own way more times than I can count… I’d probably be a trillionaire if that was my livelihood –getting in my own way. I mention cognitive dissonance in a former vlog and basically what that means is you have this paradigm, this belief that you’re just holding on with for dear life like, ‘This is, this is it, this is the truth, this is fact, this is what I believe in.’ If something comes up and challenges that belief, that conviction, that Paradigm…if something comes up and whether it’s through *laughs* what are the other.. if it comes up to you in the form of a book, if it comes up to you in the form of meeting, um, meeting another person that just views the world in a different way than you, it’s somehow automatically threatening and in order for your mindset to change or shift or you know open capacity to something more before you even can*snaps fingers* you instinctively, knee-jerk pull away, box-off, cut-off, block-off, you create a barrier between you and a completely different way of looking at a situation.

That’s a low level of self-awareness. That’s what I experienced. I’m not trying to call anyone out but hey if it resonates with you, you might want to listen. A low level of self-awareness which is strong ego meaning me, me, me, I, I, I,  the world is centralized around me and if I don’t feel good and if I’m not taking care of myself and it’s, I’m here because this is who I am and it’s everyone else’s fault the world, that’s literally the strong part of the ego and by strong that means that it is… how do you how do you say… a strong ego essentially means your point of, um,  your ability to see things is very narrow.

And again, not good or bad… there’s no judgment here. Truly, I mean it. All it is is that you see less. I mean naturally, if you believe that everything in the world is blue and that’s your belief, you’re pretty much going to pick out only blue things. If you’re single and you don’t like being single you’re going to pick out seeing couples everywhere. If you are… if you don’t like Twilight, sorry, if you don’t like Twilight you’re going to deliberately find Twilight things and just think that it’s the bigger more dominant force and that’s what came up a lot when I was going through my experience as a human being.

Confirming. So there is confirmation bias too, when you see things around you it confirms when things unravel and go a certain way and you predicting this self-fulfilling prophecy, you pretty much proved yourself right because you filtered the world to fit your point-of-view. 

This comes up a lot in my work as not, not just as a life coach but also in my raising awareness to suicide first aid, Suicide Prevention. What is suicide prevention? A lot of people have a lot of ideas of both things: what life coaching is and what is suicide first aid and suicide prevention is and they also have a lot of ideas about what energy leadership is which is pretty much self-awareness and all of these things are tools.

I’m not coming in and saying I’m better than anyone. These are tools. Tools I wish I had 10 years ago. Tools I wish I could have shared with others 10 years ago and I just fixate on 10 because decade. That’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of cycles in life that you could have gone through. And that’s another thing that came up. Another thing that came up throughout my experience as a human being was obligation. Obligated to everyone and everything.

Expectation. I felt a lot of expectation from everyone and everything to be someone I wasn’t, to do things I didn’t want to do to make a ripple effect where I just didn’t feel like I wanted to be. An obligation. Obligation to others’ ideas, obligation to others’ visions for the world, obligation to family, obligation to friends and just because we have done something in the past or were with someone in the past or perform this way at a job in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be the same way now or in the future. So that’s something that I puzzled over and mulled over and ruminated over for a long time.

Eventually all of it did diffuse my anger but then what came into play after that was rationalizing. I rationalized a lot of stuff going on. I tried to dig into my past to, to validate what was going on to reassure myself that I was doing everything I could. And that worked, until it didn’t. *laughs*

Rationalizing is what addicts do. And I was addicted to negativity. Rationalizing keeps you complacent or content in a way where the situation is not improving. When you want to…let’s limit it to me.When I wanted to improve the situation, I felt resistance from everyone and everything. Me wanting to improve a situation for myself doesn’t mean I don’t care about other people, it doesn’t mean that I’m judging other people and it doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting another person’s way of life.. it just means I want to improve my situation.

And I think a lot of us get stuck and I certainly did get stuck, from improving our situations because we feel obligated because we feel like all these expectations are something we need to check off and fill. Why? Where does that even come from? I know it came from society, upbringing, for me, that I would be a bad person or a failure or weak or careless, heartless, if I sought to improve my situations.

It’s laughable now. It really is.

We can’t control anyone’s expectations of us, anyone’s obligatory mindset of what we are supposed to be doing, should be doing, could be doing, ought to be doing. I was taking all of that on. I thought I was supposed to be doing those things, I thought I was supposed to be acquiescing to others’ demands and requests, expectations and obligations of me. And then I just I think after that then it then I fall back into and spiral back into victim mode…the strongest level of ego possible is blaming everyone and everything for where I was and what I was doing in my life.

I share my story…in detail because I think ailments of the mind aren’t ailments. It’s an experience. We are experiencing our health, we are experiencing menta,l we are experiencing the world and when we experience the world a lot of that is something we can’t put our finger on and if we can’t put her finger on it, how on Earth are we supposed to maneuver our way in the direction that feels like the situation is improving.

So, question… there are, in any situation there are five things you could be doing and this is something that I use all the time with my clients and with myself all the time. There’s five things you could be doing when something happens and as, not, and not as planned:

you can do nothing and hope and wish the situation changes itself,

Could try to change something in the situation, outside of you,

you could change the way you view the situation,

you can accept the situation,

or you can leave the situation.

So, it all depends on what you feel resonates with you in the moment. What of those 5 things can you do and if you haven’t tried one of those things, humour me here, maybe trying something different is just what the doctor ordered. I’m not a doctor, by the way.

But I do encourage you to get your head out of your ass. No one’s going to do the work for you. What can you do differently?

Shake things up. Disrupt your life. If you are refusing and resisting at every corner…from people outside of you or not trying anything new…nothing, nothing is going to change. Nothing’s going to improve, you’re going to stay stuck, just as I did.. fulfilling all these obligations that you didn’t ask for, striving every single day to meet expectations that were placed upon you and you didn’t ask for and you’re basically going to be a puppet to everyone and everything around you until you figure this out. What do you want?

The conversation is going to keep popping up in every aspect of your life until until you face it. That’s what happened for me and that’s what happens for I, I fail to think of a human being that is, that is exempt from this experience in life, of responsibility or victim. You can take responsibility or you can be a victim. What is it going to be? And how are you going to be held accountable for something like that?

I do have this phenomenal retreat where I take people that, that are really good at hiding. Just want all the pain to go away, all the overwhelming to stop, struggling to face the past, really challenged with how to let go of regret and guilt and burnout and loss and pain: addiction is real and if that’s something you wish to improve then you *laughs* you’re someone I definitely want to meet.

There’s a retreat that I’m holding it’s at the end of this month: it is June 27th to the 28th. I believe… June 27th and 28th, where you will be around other people just like you, keeping you accountable to the improvements you want in your life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life even if it means challenging who you once were and challenging the notion of you are who you are. I’m challenging you just as I wish someone had challenged me. Where would I be, if I had someone like me, with this notion, and guts, guts to say, ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Who makes.. how, how is it okay for you to be your own bully? Is that okay? No. Maybe it is. Again, it’s up to you to decide. Truly..”

Curious to learn more about the retreat I am hosting? Hear about James Edgar Skye’s experience. 

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

The Magic Crayon.

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“So, there’s vlog post 3 on its way to you, this one right here.

Uh, so the last question I asked was:

‘What is it gonna take for you to own and take responsibility for your past?’

That doesn’t mean it’s your fault. That doesn’t mean you screwed up. That doesn’t mean shame on you. What that means is understanding that the past happens…happened to have happened and you are, set before you…you have these cards at your disposal. They may not be the cards you want..when does…when has that ever happened? When we’re in this pit, this prison, that we built for ourselves, and the prison I built for myself was this illusion, this delusion that things would change for me. Just because I felt it was unfair. Just  because I didn’t agree with literally everything. I was so argumentative, so resistant and extremely combative and what did I end up with…nothing.

An empty shell of who I was or who I thought I was…who others thought I was.  No one’s going to do the work for you. Towards the end, I almost lost myself to myself.

I deliberately created this reality where I was the one that was always right. I was the only one that had any right to feel the way I did. And no one could tell me otherwise. Absolutely not! *laughs* That’s absurd! What do people know? There’s this sheer arrogance that cocooned me and insulated me from hearing what other people had to say. And one of those things was .. I .. I I. I actually realized my addiction to negativity.

My addiction and obsession with being right when things would go wrong. It’s the ultimate catastrophe.

I smile about it now because I’ve learned to laugh it off.

Placing blame didn’t work.For me. Trying to gain justice..for the trespasses I felt, didn’t work for me. Pitying myself didn’t work for me. Um… *laughs*  Taking it out on other people, didn’t work for me. Refusing to embrace and to have the parents I have, didn’t work for me. Blaming my cultural mindset, growing up under a rock, not really struggling in life or experiencing tragedy was not enough of a story or an excuse, for me.

You see, we could go here all day. I could…I could’ve gone the rest of my life doing that but I just hit a breaking point where I…enough was enough. Or rather, enough was not enough anymore. At all.

I can’t explain to you how angry I was. But it was stuffed. Stuffed down! I suppressed it. *in a silly voice* ‘Well, that’s just how I am, that’s how I was taught..’

That’s resistance.

What else….

I know now that all I wanted…all I wanted…was to feel seen…feel heard…and I just wanted to fit in.

I wanted to be that happy person you see when you scroll through your social media.

I wanted to be that person that was “successful.”

I wanted to be that person that had healthy relationships.

I wanted so many things and I denied myself that not just through sabotaging myself and staying in that bubble of comfort and negativity, fueling that negativity. Seeking to tear others down.

I refused to look the “truth” in the eye, which was that I didn’t want to do the work.

I struggled with anxiety. I mean I handled many e-mails. I balanced my finances. I do everything related to my business. I’m a one woman army. I get *laughs* you know, you teleport yourself back 5, 6 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. Cause I struggled just to open one e-mail. I struggled just to look at the dollars in my bank account. I struggled just to decide what I wanted to do. And, you know, what kind of food did I want to eat. What, uh, who should I be talking to. Should I go, should I be using my degree for something. I mean, it was…I was already in my prison.  I was already self-sabotaging, addicted to negativity, resisting at every point and turn to see reason. To listen. To listen to other people.

Resistance was a huge part of my life. And as a result of being married to resistance, rather than being married to awareness, I almost lost myself.

Since then I’ve had moments where I imagine something just, ii it.. it’s just a snap.  Just a snap. Moment. A snapshot. Nothing really triggers it, per se.  But it’s this…it reminds me of this haunting feeling of what it felt like to be in that prison. And when I have those moments where I just fooo , float in. I think of railroad tracks. I think of ..if.. if I just..I live a life of choice without a vehicle so I bicycle, and it would just take…I would just have to navigate my bicycle 6  feet into oncoming traffic. Done.

I have moments like that where it’s just so fast.

When we’re overwhelmed, we’re probably creating more work for ourselves than we think we are. Than we’re aware to. And that’s really something I wanted to shed light on. What I experience as an un-diagnosed person.

Never had a diagnosis. Ever.

And sometimes I tell myself, “Well, you don’t have a diagnosis. So, you’re fine! You don’t have a problem. You don’t have issues.”

NO. It’s still part of my health. And for those of you that haven’t gotten, or taken a step in that direction, I feel you, in my own respective way. I feel like I have no merit to be speaking in such a way about my health. I struggled.

I wasn’t always this way [facing my “truth” and owning my past].  I find it so much easier to smile and look past my own insecurities to get along with people from all walks of life, with all different kinds of experiences.

That’s that…benefit of the doubt is something I give out…in truckloads to other people. And I struggled to do that for myself. To give myself the benefit of the doubt. To give myself permission to feel bad and years later here I am. I finally get it. It’s not the ‘bad’ feelings that were tearing me apart, it was my judgment of myself  for having them in the first place.

So, question. I always like ending with a question.

‘If there was a way…to feel…at peace with your past and say…I gave you this magic crayon…and you can use it to re-write something that’s happened in the past and just, ‘this is what happened and now I feel better,’ what would have changed specifically about you for the outcome to be different?

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So, if you could take this crayon. This magic crayon, go into the past and rewrite a memory, er, incident, what is it specifically about you that changed the outcome?

I like asking these questions because there’s not much more we can control outside of ourselves and the sooner we embrace that ‘truth,’ the easier life gets. I don’t want to say easier. The better life gets.

A lot of you are probably really good at weaving a bullshit story. I definitely am an expert at doing that. *laughs* So, catching myself before it gets..too long. You’re weaving that story? Stooooop. Stop it. It’t not worth it.”

Kim Johnson 
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC

Burnout And Complex PTSD

Photo by Ivan Obolensky on Pexels.com

Burnout and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C/PTSD) are rarely talked about. I think, for the most part, burnout and fatigue are the most debilitating symptoms that I have to deal with on a daily basis. Fatigue that is caused by my medication and from being extremely anxious and hypervigilant on a daily basis.

Drowning In Work

I find myself trying to drown myself into work, as a coping mechanism, whenever I get overwhelmed by my emotions (or lack of sometimes – due to my numbness) and my inability to articulate what causes me to feel anxious or depressed. It becomes an exhausting cycle, from time to time, and sometimes I seem unable to break out of it.

Life Is A Grind

I honestly believe that living with PTSD or CPTSD feels like I have been grinding for so long that my life has become a grid. I see myself eating at my desk more often than I should. Drinking more caffeine just so my body can cope with my grind or my need to keep grinding. Adding into the mix, my anxiety, depression and my lack of self-esteem coupled with my self-doubt that was instilled into my body by the trauma I have survived.

This seems to continue and gets to the point where I start eating less healthy and exercise less often. My mood than gets affected and everyone around me – well becomes frustrated with having to deal with my dark side. I honestly do get tired of feeling hopeless. This whole cycle then leads me into thinking that I have become inferior – by comparison – to who I was before my trauma.

This vicious cycle is unhealthy, I must admit. My body then gets to a point where it can’t take anymore stressors or continue to work. I think that this habit of constantly over-working myself can’t be stopped by self care mechanisms. although, they can help tame and slow down the process of burnout.

Get Help

If you are feeling this way at the moment, I hope you stop – pause – and listen to your mind, body, and soul. Because they are you and that is your power. Please try to seek professional help as well.

Burnout is the moment when everything gives, and it’s more common than you might think.

Matt D’avella

Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love,

Francesca

A letter to myself on the days I feel I’m about to drown

You are so much more than your productivity. Don’t break yourself for it.

Friendly reminder that “your best” doesn’t mean pushing yourself to your breaking point. “Your best” means the best you can do while being your best you. Get enough sleep, give yourself breaks, listen to your limits. “Your best” is better when you are happy and healthy.

I know how important it is to you; your work means everything to you, it’s your driving purpose, the fire in your belly, it’s how you find meaning in this sometimes arduous existence.

And you should work hard, push yourself, challenge yourself, get outside your comfort zone.

But you can be all of those things and be the best you. You can be successful without ignoring when your soul and body tell you that they need rest. God, I PROMISE the world will not end if you switch your phone off for a day and don’t open any emails! I swear, the world can go on without you!

Imagine your role in the world has a play and pause button. Don’t be afraid to hit pause when you need to; you can hit play just as easily, even though you’re afraid that if you stop you’ll lose momentum. But sustainable progress and growth and success don’t work that way. People who burn bright until the end are those who know when to dim the lights and when to turn them all the way up. dardan-671877-unsplash

I promise the world will survive if you take the day – maybe even the week if that’s what you really need – to breathe, to get to that laundry that’s been giving your anxiety and sweep all the dust out from under the bed and buy yourself some flowers and connect with loved ones for no reason other than that you should make all the time in the world for the things that matter in a life that is so fleeting.

You’ll hit play when you’re ready. Your fear of failure is just a shadow, it can’t hurt you or your progress. Acknowledge its presence, but say, “this feeling is uncomfortable, but it can’t harm me, it’s just a feeling, nothing more.” Just because you FEEL afraid that taking a break to recharge your mind and soul will derail you doesn’t mean it actually will.

I promise it won’t, so love and believe in yourself enough to trust your ability to get back into the race – after you’ve taken a moment to breathe, hydrate, stretch and centre yourself.

Your health, your wellbeing, and YOU exist outside of how productive you are. Don’t sacrifice those things for productivity. You are valuable and worthy of love and success and happiness and all things great even on your lazy, unproductive days where you don’t do anything noteworthy. You are amazing and valid even on the days you don’t do anything particularly amazing.

Resting is amazing.

Listen to your limits, and value yourself enough to do what you need to do when the alarms go off.

fatima-fuentes-1083754-unsplashHitting pause never killed anybody. You deserve rest, no matter how productive you think you haven’t been/should be.

So, go out and do your best this week; be the best you.

-Steph (hunting happiness)