During the first year of his life, my little nephew would cry every time I came near him. They say that children have greater awareness of their environment than adults and can sense things more than we can. Perhaps he could sense I was anxious and in a bad place in my life at that time? Whatever the reason, it’s been an incredible turnaround, as we are now very close. I would go as far to say that he is the best thing that’s happened in my life since my second bout of anxiety. Partly because, as with most toddlers, he is a joy to be around and makes me laugh. But also because the very nature of a young child, the way they act and live in the moment, is exactly what most of us adults have lost touch with and ultimately, need to re-learn.
Mindfulness, meditation and “living for now” are phrases that you’ll see popping into the mainstream more and more in the next few years. Finally, Western culture is beginning to realise that what has been a staple of Eastern culture for thousands of years, is not some wacko, new-age bullshit but something absolutely crucial to living a healthy, happy life.
You guys kinda know me by now. I try to live a positive, disciplined, healthy, heart-based and hard-working life. Everything I do, from the moment I wake up till the moment my head hits the pillow, is geared towards maintaining as a high a vibration as possible. In non-spiritual terms, that means I try to keep the negativity dragons at bay! But that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Some days, it can be really tough to batten down the hatches and stop getting burned by the flames. Yesterday was such a day.
Most days, I just hustle. That gets me through the day without even having the time to dwell on the past, feel sorry about the present or worry about the future. But sometimes, no matter how grateful I am just to be alive, just to be able to live in a free and democratic country, just to have food in my stomach, clean clothes on my back and a warm bed to sleep in, I lose that battle. I don’t lose the war. I’ll never lose the war and that’s what’s crucial. I am too mentally strong to ever lose that war again. But sometimes, the smoke from the dragon’s flames chokes me. Causes me to drop to my knees in weakness for a few hours. Yesterday was such a day.
My first 2 months of blogging have been a bit of a whirlwind! I knew blogging would be a challenge but I didn’t expect it to be quite so time consuming. One of the things I’ve not even had time to write about much is my day to day activities. In my very first post, I told you that I wanted to create my dream life. In a previous post, I told you about my daily routines which are in place to help achieve that. I’ve also posted about my long term goals. But I haven’t had a chance to reveal what I’m doing on a daily basis specifically to attain those goals, work-wise. That is what will dig me out of the trench I’m in now and enable me to move to London, create a new circle of friends, multiple streams of income and more freedom to travel and do what I love. Here’s what I do now:
As I mentioned in part 2, following my recovery from social anxiety, everything seemed to be going right for me. I could do no wrong in almost every area of my life; relationships, money, health, career, socially, adventure. Even when something out of my control lead a to a negative, every single time, it lead directly onto something positive and often beyond my wildest expectations! At the pinnacle of this high-life, I was backpacking through Asia and The Pacific by myself – something the anxious me would never have dared to do.
Little Timmy Phoenix was at the Taj Mahal! Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge! Riding camels and elephants! Climbing glaciers and Mount Doom from The Lord of the Rings! Sitting on a totally secluded beach on a Pacific Island on Christmas Day! This was never in the plan!
As I established in my previous post, I’m not 100% convinced in the law of attraction. Quantum physics is very real and appears to back it up scientifically. The research I’d done every day throughout 2016, studying people who were sharing their knowledge of the LOA and how it had turned their lives around, also proved a compelling argument. But one crucial thing was missing; I hadn’t experienced anything decisive personally. Despite attempting to live that mantra over the past year, being positive, grateful and living life from my heart, taking action towards gaining a life I truly desire, I haven’t made great strides. Nothing major I’m trying to manifest has appeared. However, when I look back over my past and deconstruct how my life has panned out, it does seem to back up the whole LOA theory.
Before I start to talk about this most controversial of subjects, I want you to know this. I only discovered the Law of Attraction (LOA) 12 months ago. Before that, I’d seen the phrase knocking around the internet but just assumed it was some cheesy dating thing and ignored it. Up to that point in my life, I was the kind of guy who mocked things like the LOA. Anything remotely spiritual I would automatically rail against and look for ways of disproving. If it wasn’t backed up by mainstream science, I didn’t want to know. I would actually enjoy picking holes in the arguments. I considered myself a normal, straight-talking, down to earth, pragmatic man. Liberal and open-minded, yet at the same time, realistic.
But after reading “Think and Grow Rich” and then learning about quantum physics, I was starting to realise that I wasn’t as open-minded and didn’t know as much as I’d thought. When famous scientists, writers, psychologists, wealthy business men, politicians (Einstein, Jung, Tesla, Napoleon Hill etc) were talking about a different way of thinking an entire century ago, a reality which appeared so incongruent to what I believed, I began to sit up and take it seriously. It was at this point, that I decided to find out just what the LOA actually was. And it had nothing to do with Tinder…..
Today I’m taking a probably-not-that-well-earned break and letting the wonderful Kelly, otherwise known as Anxious Lass (from the lifestyle blog centred around mental health, of the same name), to do the work for me! She’s written a great piece about her own struggles with anxiety and how she overcame them to become not-so-anxious lass. Once again, we see the same common themes amongst everyone who overcomes an anxiety disorder:
Get help and make the choice to eradicate it
Get off medication
Put in the work to get rid of it
Right, that’s enough from me. Take it away Kelly!
The Journey Of Overcoming A Social Anxiety Disorder
It might well seem as though I have my shit together. That I’m always relentlessly bouncy and uplifted with the positive mantra I try to express. I certainly believe that the only way to live a happy life with true inner peace, is to live with gratitude and always with the glass half full. But as my post “Why Loneliness is my Biggest Motivation” shows, it’s not always the case.
I actually never intended to write that post. But sometimes, you have to go with your heart. Writing for me, is as much a cathartic process as it is to inform or to create. I want to help others; those with anxiety in particular but also anyone who is at rock-bottom or in a rut. But I now realise that I have a lot of stuff I need to get off my chest. Things that I’ve never opened up to anyone else about. Being lonely is one of them. It wasn’t easy for me to write that post because, more than anything, it’s embarrassing to admit you have no close friends. I think part of me also, if I’m honest, felt a little anger and jealousy.
So here’s a few things you need to know about me going through a spiritual awakening:
I’m not going crazy!
I’m not part of some weird cult!
I haven’t become a born again Christian!
I’m not a conspiracy theorist!
The information that I’ve taken in is widely available and much of it was known and recorded by the early human civilisations (such as the ancient Egyptians) going back over 4000 years. It’s only becoming more widely known now because of the internet.
Up to 2016, I was not at all open to much of this. I was a staunch atheist who believed that when you’re dead, you’re dead. I didn’t believe in anything remotely spiritual. I laughed at people who thought that “everything happens for a reason” and there are no coincidences. That if science couldn’t prove something beyond all doubt, then it didn’t exist. That eastern medicine was weird and not to be trusted, unlike western medicine. But what this awakening did for me, was make me question why I had those beliefs. I soon realised that the majority of the beliefs I had were not based on any research on my behalf and in some cases, with very little knowledge of the subject. I had merely appropriated them from other people; from “society” in general. And this is true for an alarming number of self-held beliefs that almost all of us have.