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The Stray Russian Blue

thestrayrussianblue.wordpress.com

Author

chiharumon

I’m Chiharu Carolino Monori. I lived in my home town Kitagunma-gun when I was young and completely moved here in Cubao, Quzon City, Philippines. I studied Business Administration and Psychology, both unfinished but regrettable. I speak enough Japonic, fluent Filipino, and good but slightly British English. My mom is Filipino and my dad is full Japanese. I’m an urban explorer, part time Cosplay model, and office worker somewhere.

Google Doodle: Musical celebration for Oskar Fischinger

Known for his incredible musical animation, creating over 50 short films along with his around 800 canvases, the man behind the special effect in Fritz Lang’s movie Woman in the moon in 1929 which led him to undergo various experimentation to create more animations, has began his career in Hollywood at Paramount back in 1963 which did not turned out well at first until the help of his fellow abstract artist and co-founder of Solomon R. Guggenheim.

Oskar Fischinger died in 1967, in celebration of his 117th birthday; Google invites us to create our own composition. Have you tried Google doodle’s musical tribute? Check out mine. https://www.google.com.ph/webhp?doodle=32501999-QA0A0AIAEAEA0AIAEAEA0AIAEAEA0AIA0AQAIA0AEA0A0g0A0A0A0A0ABA0A0AQA0C0B0A0E0A0C0A0E0A0I0I0Q0Q0Q0C0ABK0A0A0A0A0A0q0A0A0A0A0A0K0o0F0A49a8&nord=1

As an honor to Fischinger’s creations, I have gathered few of his notable animations back in 1931, 1934 and 1938.

OPTICAL POEM 1938

For Kreise 1934 and Studie Number 8 in 1931, click this link for preview as I could not share the embedded from this article due to, I don’t know…human error? My bad, sorry. : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/oskar-fischinger-watch-amazing-musical-animations-created-decades/

FROM THE FILM SQUARES IN 1934

CVM_fischinger8147d SQUARES 1934.jpg
http://www.oskarfischinger.org/

 

 

Kudos, Oskar Fischinger !

See original post: https://medium.com/ceeart/google-doodle-musical-celebration-for-oskar-fischinger-4434371c20e2

Why social media is the worst innovation humans have ever made

No chitter chatter. I’m only pointing out what makes social media the worst technology innovation.

 

I’ve been using social media for such a long time and I must admit among many innovations and advancements people have made, social media is one of, I would say most beneficial, having a wide coverage of aspects that people could make use of it (shared-ideas, career interest and other forms of expressions through virtual interaction) BUT on the contrary, it is also the worst.

Why?

 

Misleading, bounded by puzzling information.

I’ve seen several articles, blogs, posted photos, and videos from various pages and websites all of which most people are not aware whether these sites are even legit which somehow they end up spreading as if they know the entire information about it.

Considering these examples; videos of fake food, articles about a mysterious creature and space occurrence or any other blogs or article you’ve encountered that seem futile and unbelievable.

What is the probability of these contents to be true to fact?

Is it once it has been broadcasted over the news? Honestly, even television news does not count as credible either, this is due to the so-called ‘paid journalists’ I don’t know if this is happening to your country but with ours (PH) this is slowly becoming a norm. These ‘paid journalists’ are usually paid to ruin a certain person’s reputation by spreading false information with the help of its incredible ‘trolls’  which many people end up believing because, as I said, it is from a television news reported by reputable journalists.

Capability of one’s personal matter to be over-exposed.

…that even a person’s most painful heartbreak, tragic incident that he/she has experienced were all posted and exposed to everybody which is WRONG in any where you look at. We all have different reasons to make use of social media but despite of those reasons we are supposed to be responsible with our privacy. People do not need to know so much about your life so better keep it to yourself.

You may not think those silly ‘—–Game Generator’ that you enjoyed entertaining is a form of revealing your personal information especially your birthdays and full name, but they really are. (Insert game generator) Yes, I know it is quite interesting; I fell to it for how many times, it’s best to ditch them sometimes.harry potter game generator.jpg

Not only its capability to over-exposed one’s personal life makes social media worst having a bunch of troll users also count. Trolls are the No.1 reason behind every heated argument in any comment sections. Why? Because that’s what they are paid for, to make a certain issue get worse or just simply in order for them to drag people into believing whatever it is that they are arguing about. There were also trolls that start arguments only to upset people often for their amusements. I don’t know what part in there is amusing. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

What is there to do such a thing? Why pissed people off? Are they paid to do that as well? I apologize but for me it really sucks that I have come to that point where I hope that SMS (social media sites) could do something to eradicate these trolls, in that way I believe trash talks or non-sensible arguments will be avoided.

Social media is indeed a beneficial internet technology platform. It has given many advantages to people that as years passed, they no longer use it wisely and PROPERLY. Just look at the millennial, they were one of the products of improper usage of social media and soon, that’s it! People can’t do anything about it.

Think before you click!

 

 

Living an Extraordinary Life Means Giving Up a Normal One

“If you want to live an exceptional and extraordinary life, you have to give up many of the things that are part of a normal one.” -Srinivas Rao

The larger mob of society will never experience true success.

Why?

Because this majority is unwilling to become the CEO of their life — they’d rather someone else call the shots.

They are unwilling to take risks, to fail publicly, and be forced to try again after getting knocked down.

They are unwilling to sacrifice what is good for what is great.

In short, they are unwilling to give up their “normal” life.

But this is what is required to live an extraordinary life. You must give up the “normal” life for something far more valuable.

Evolving is painful.

The more you evolve into the best version of yourself, the more you’ll be required to give up. You’ll reach a point where you’ll no longer be able to tolerate negative relationships. Eating bad food. Spending your time on time-wasting activities.

Giving these things up is painful. Most people aren’t willing to do what needs to be done.

Living the Life No One Else Is

“Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.” -Dave Ramsey

I have only just began to take some major steps to live an “extraordinary” life. It’s been hard as hell sometimes.

The first major step for me was counseling. Over the course of 3 years, I underwent some serious emotional recovery of the wreckage of my past. My history is full of broken family relationships, sex addiction, intense shame and self-loathing; all emotional baggage I never dealt with.

I made the choice to get all this shit out in the open. To tell a therapist about the time my high school girlfriend of 2 years dumped me after I admitted I had a problem looking at pornography, and then proceeded to tell all her friends about it.

Or when members of my family favored my cousins over me because I didn’t party, do drugs, or sleep around like they did.

I realized an extraordinary life meant confronting and resolving all the shit that happened to me. Shit happens to everyone, but most people don’t deal with it. That’s the sign of a “normal” life.

The next step for me was actually attending a rehab program to overcome my sex addiction. Counseling, coupled with recovery and rehab, was the hardest struggle I’ve ever had to go through. I still struggle. But now, I can live an extraordinary life because I’ve dealt with my past and stopped letting it call the shots.

These are signs of an extraordinary life.

Everything Has a Cost

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” -Jim Collins, Good to Great

People who prefer to live a “normal” life don’t want to pay most of the costs of an extraordinary life.

Everything worthwhile in life has an opportunity cost. If you accept opportunity “A,” that means passing on opportunity “B.”

You have to give up something in order to accomplish something else.

If you want to live an extraordinary life for the long-term, you’ll need to give up some things in the short-term. Some of these things may be dear to you, which makes them extremely difficult to let go. No one said this would be easy.

For some, that means stopping looking at pornography entirely so you can start to actually connect with others.

It might mean giving up some of their favorite foods so they can finally see abs they’ve never seen before.

It might might mean seeing friends less often in order to do the worknecessary to succeed.

It might mean declining wedding invitations because the trips are too expensive. Maybe it means giving up sleeping in so you can have more time in your days. Maybe it means saying no to opportunities at work so you can remain a loving, present father to your children.

All great opportunities costs “good” ones.

An extraordinary life costs a “normal” life. You can’t have both.

You will have to sacrifice something that you value less than whatever it is you ultimately want.

Make no mistake, this is a high price to pay. In fact, many people simply decline the offer of an extraordinary life after they discover how much it would cost.

And that’s OK. An extraordinary life isn’t for everyone.

But if you want to live the extraordinary life no else is living, you’ll have to start living a life no one else does. This means giving up a “normal” life.

The 3 Things Everyone Needs to Sacrifice

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. “ -Herman Melville

Everyone has different, unique things they’ll need to sacrifice in order to begin living an extraordinary life.

But there are 3 things everyone will need to give up.

1. Security and Certainty

One of the cornerstones of an extraordinary life is giving up the safety nets, security, and guarantees of a normal life.

Maybe this is a steady paycheck at a job that will never allow you to reach your full potential. Maybe it’s the static 9–5 schedule. Maybe it’s a guaranteed retirement plan.

Of course, you don’t have to live in this scenario for the rest of your life. This lifestyle is exhausting at first — you’re always on your toes, never knowing when the next paycheck is coming in, unsure of the future.

But the extraordinary life gives you full control over your life and actions, at the cost of the comfort of having others call the shots.

This is one of the hardest parts to give up, and takes a long time to really sink in for even the most dedicated entrepreneurs, adventurers, and risk-takers.

2. Fear of Judgement

“The worst part of success is to try to find someone who is happy for you.” -Bette Midler

If you post a status on Facebook that says, “I got the job!” you’re likely to get dozens, even hundreds of likes.

But if you post a status that says, “I finally started my own business!” you’re likely to experience little engagement at all.

Which brings us to the next requirement of an extraordinary life: letting go of your fear of judgement.

Trying to explain your extraordinary life to others will begin to seem like a lost cause. Most people are afraid you’ll achieve the dreams they never did, and so they attempt to protect themselves from that failure by bringing you down.

The extraordinary life looks crazy to an outsider. They don’t understand it, and they’re afraid of it. To an individual living a “normal” life, the characteristics of an extraordinary life seem foolish, stupid, and unrealistic.

They don’t understand why you go to the gym even when you’re exhausted. They don’t understand why you’d wake up at 6am on the weekend when you could be sleeping in. They don’t understand why you’d prefer a wild, inconsistent, frightening life full of uncertainty when you could choose the comfort and safety of a normal one.

So they judge you. They criticize you, condemn you, and ostracize you by singling you out as stupid, naive, and silly.

You must ignore this.

You will never succeed if you continue to take more stock in what your critics say than what you belief about yourself.

This is another extremely difficult thing to give up. Separating ourselves from the herd is scary, and the criticisms and warnings from others might even sound wise.

Let it go. This is your life, not theirs.

3. Other People’s Definition of Success

In the words of Srinivas Rao:

At some point, I realized that I had to give up other people’s definition of success. This is one of the most difficult things to give up because it is so deeply embedded in our cultural narratives that it becomes the standard by which we measure our lives. Even as entrepreneurs we have collectively agreed that fame and fortune are the markers of success.

But, giving up other people’s definition of success is incredibly liberating and ultimately leads to the fullest expression of who you are and what matters to you. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s a daily habit of comparing less and creating more.

“Success” doesn’t just mean what the larger mob of society says it means: “lots of money, fame, and fortune.” Many people with fame, fortune, and lots of money have terribly empty, imbalanced lives.

Your success isn’t defined by what other people say.

“Success is continuously improving who you are, how you live, how you serve, and how you relate.” –Benjamin P. Hardy

No one can define your success but you. If you continue to let others tell you what success is, you’ll never reach it. Even if you did, it wouldn’t be a true success, because it’s not what you really valued.

No, living an extraordinary life means defining your own version of what success is. You can begin to spend your time on what really matters to you.

Do you really want 100,000 Twitter followers? Do you really need to be in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list? Do you really want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author?

Or is your version of success more narrowed, more focused, more specific?

If you want to live an extraordinary life, your definition of success must be your own. If we are always chasing what other people tell us to, we’ll never experience true success.

Let go of other people’s versions of success. Define your own success, and achieve it.

That is true success.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, it’s up to you what you’re willing to sacrifice to achieve an extraordinary life. There is no formula. But one thing is certain: you will need to sacrifice.

It will be hard. It won’t be pleasant.

But the life you’re achieving — the extraordinary life — will be more rewarding than a normal life could ever be. Your relationships, finances, health, knowledge, passion, and purpose will all reach levels higher than ever before.

The cost of an extraordinary life is great.

Is it worth it to you?

 

This blog was originally published by Anthony Moore. See original post: https://theascent.biz/living-an-extraordinary-life-means-giving-up-a-normal-one-222f37972c32

BOOK REVIEW: Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland

photo credits to the owner.

It’s been a long time since I wrote a review so here you go.

I have finished this book last month. Normally, once I finished a book I go ahead and create a review about it but this time right after I finished ‘Our Chemical Hearts’ I was not able to do so. This is due to untold task that I had to finish throughout those days. Well, yes, I had a couple of days off but usually I spend them in sleeping to gain my vitality. I just don’t force myself to write especially when I know that I am drained completely.

Sothis book is about a seventeen year old boy named Henry Page who has never found himself being in love, a boy who’s happy by the thought of getting good academic grades to finally become their school’s newspaper editor in order to achieve a semi-decent college life. Things began to change when he met the odd girl, Grace Town.

Grace isn’t Henry’s idea of what a typical girl should be like, walking into his first period class wearing an oversized shirt (a boy’s shirt!) with that look as if she hasn’t been taking a shower for how many days plus the fact that she walks with a cane… she is indeed that type of girl who is odd and mysterious. The story began when they were both chosen to edit the school paper which Grace immediately turned down for the reason that she no longer writes. That situation made Henry pissed off because he thinks about the opportunity that is simply going to be wasted. He then had a little talk with Grace, an awkward one, actually, which made her finally accept the position.

They became friends, yes but Henry knows there is something broken about Grace Town that he needed to know and he did. I do not wish to spoil anything now. Here’s a quote from Henry to give you an idea of what’s with this book.

‘So this is certainly not a story of love at first sight.
But it is a love story.
Well.
Kind of.’

NOTABLE PASSAGES:

“I was a decent enough writer, but talking? With sounds? From my mouth? That was a bitch.”

“The things you own end up owning you”

“Space is the best cure for sadness that I know.”

“When I look up into the night sky, I remember that I’m nothing but the ashes of long-dead stars. A human being is a collection of atoms that comes together into an ordered pattern for a brief period of time and then falls apart again. I find comfort in my smallness.”

“The best thing the universe ever gave us is that we’ll all be forgotten.”

“I kinda like the idea,” she said. “That when we die, despite any pain or fear or embarrassment we experienced during our lives, despite any heartbreak or grief, we get to be dispersed back into nothingness. It makes me feel brave, knowing I’ll get a blank slate at the end. You get a brief glimmer of consciousness to do with what you will and then it’s given back to the universe again. I’m not religious, but even I can appreciate that that’s redemption, on the grandest scale. Oblivion isn’t scary; it’s the closest thing to genuine absolution of sin that I can imagine.”

“People are perfect when all that’s left of them is memory.”

“You know how you sometimes have the most exhausting day and you can’t wait to get home and fall into bed and sleep for hours? I feel that way about life. There are people out there who read books about vampires and they crave immortality, but sometimes I’m so thankful that at the end of it all, we get to sleep forever. No more pain. No more exhaustion. Death is the reward for having lived.”

“Stories with happy endings are just stories that haven’t finished yet.”

“Why is it, I thought, that we’re so willing to hurt the ones we care about the most?”

WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THE BOOK…

Life lessons being interpret through character’s point of view. You know that a book will left an impact to its reader when or if he/she learned something from the book itself. I loved Krystal Sutherland’s idea in life and death,

I find it quite broad to depict but there were things that will surely left you in a realization thinking ‘Ah yes, point taken.’

I also loved the idea that Krystal filled it with references to music, films, also book etc. Once you finished a book, I suggest that you do not skip the author’s note or the acknowledgements because that’s when you’ll discover the author’s journey throughout the entire completion of the book and it never fails to amaze me. It is such an inspiration for young writers like me.

Overall, Our Chemical Hearts is a tear-jerker novel. (Yes, I mean it. Read on and see for yourself, guys.) The moment I read the most painful and heart-breaking part of it, I couldn’t stop myself from crying. The apparent feeling is there and for me, that’s what makes a good story, that feeling when you feel like putting yourself in the shoe of the characters, when you felt their pain… Goodness! You probably think it’s crazy but it’s absolutely satisfying.

WILL I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ALL AGES?

Yes, but with supervision. It’s a good-read but there are certain parts that may need a little discussion (if got curious about it) with matured readers.

RATINGS: 

5 stars for the entirety of the book: cover, concept, structure/flow of the story.

This blog is originally published on medium. See original post: https://medium.com/ceeart/our-chemical-hearts-by-krystal-sutherland-7e595dac893f

45 Things That Might Help You Be A Better Human

A short list of ways to improve your life and maybe even the lives of others.

ctto.

I’ve started a (nearly) annual tradition of writing about things I’ve learned or observed about life on my birthday (I try to write as many things as my age, so yeah, I’m 45). I don’t write these because I’ve mastered life or am an expert on anything, but mainly as a reminder and challenge to myself that I need to grow and learn and change.

Hopefully you’ll find something interesting, amusing, or even helpful for your life.

  1. Actively put limits on yourself. Try not saying more than 100 words in a day. Wake up in the morning 10 minutes earlier every day for a week.
  2. When you find yourself feeling angry when speaking with someone, shut up and just listen.
  3. When you encounter a new thought or idea, accept it as truth for 24 hours. Not because you’ll eventually believe it but because it’ll change your perspectives and allow you to understand others (and I lied, sometimes it will change your beliefs).
  4. Take one of your existing beliefs (or assumptions) and question it’s validity. Read about opposing views. You will get defensive, even angry. Do your best to suppress your desire to attack. This is almost the same as above. Together, this is the only way to adapt, grow, and evolve what you understand and believe about yourself, others, and the world.
  5. Constantly experience life as if you’re searching for a moment to photograph.
  6. Don’t become so consumed by your career, or family, or hobbies that you neglect personal relationships because one day when your kids are grown and you’ve moved away and your career is over, you’ll find yourself old and alone and regretting that you didn’t purposefully invest more time into your friendships.
  7. Create an alternate reality version of yourself where a major milestone in your life that didn’t happen. How would your life be different? Would it be better or worse?
  8. Try communicating for a day using only emojis.
  9. Spend a day sending notes (via Facebook or Twitter or Snapchat or email or even a letter) purposefully and specifically praising those who are important to your life (at least once a year).
  10. Invest in some non-traditional socks — the uglier and crazier the better.
  11. Make a playlist of songs from your childhood. Mine would include “Baby Elephant Walk” — I can vividly remember dancing around in our living room, moving the coffee table out of the way, and pacing the floor with my body bent down, holding my arms together as they dangled in the air like a trunk — more Barry Manilow than I care to admit, and “Little Nash Rambler”.
  12. Find some puppies and let them devour you in their furious furry love.
  13. Every year (on your birthday, since it’s an easy date to remember, hopefully) go through all the things you own and donate anything that you haven’t worn or used in that entire year (I also highly suggest you do this with your kids and their toys).
  14. Support whatever you believe in, whether financially or volunteering.
  15. Find somewhere that makes you happy and peaceful — that doesn’t cost money, that you can get to quickly and easily, and where no one you know will interrupt you — and just sit in silence for 15 minutes (for me, it’s on the banks of the Ohio in downtown Cincinnati when I get to work in the morning).
  16. Play laser tag (mostly because it’s really fun to shoot kids — oh you know what I mean).
  17. Find an interesting topic and try and learn as much as you can about it in 60 minutes (it’s why the internet exists!), like rubber bands, switchblade combs, vinyl records, or those three-legged, small, table-like contraptions they put in the middle of pizza so the boxes don’t crush into your food.
  18. Buy a headlamp. They’re cheap and you’ll be amazed at how often you’ll need to see in the dark while also having both hands free.
  19. For fun, think about a name you wouldn’t mind changing to. But take it seriously (would you really want to be called Chavez Dumplings? That’s for me, because that’s a stupid online alias I used to have). Would you be different than you are now?
  20. Buy two pairs of your favorite shoes (because there is no guarantee that they will always exist).
  21. Find a simple, non-linear (meaning something you can stop and start at any time) game that you can play or do as a family while eating dinner. For us, it is (was) Akinator.
  22. Go to a movie alone. Get your favorite movie foods. Preferably a movie that you really want to see but would be ashamed to admit.
  23. Collect something (preferably inexpensive), perhaps enamel pins, interesting coffee mugs, branded coasters, or velvet clown paintings. I collect well-designed playing cards.
  24. Ask yourself “is this the most important thing I can be doing right now?”
  25. Visit a local art museum. Find a painting you love. Observe it for 10 minutes. Every year go back to that same painting for the same amount of time and try to find something new.
  26. If you feel stuck on a problem or a thought or a fear, get some crayons and color in a coloring book, or work a challenging puzzle, or play Solitaire. Engage your mind in something completely, and you’ll find that a solution for a problem will surface, your anxiety will vanish, and you fear will dissipate.
  27. Get a tattoo. Find a local tattoo artist whose work (and style) you love. Tell them about who you are — where you’re from, what you do, who you love, etc — and let them create something for you.
  28. There is no tomorrow. You will never reach the horizon. Don’t live for the unknown and unknowable.
  29. For the love of God if you’re not listening to podcasts, then start. There are so many amazing podcasts. When you find a favorite, write to them and tell them you love what they do.
  30. If you aren’t intrigued by a book by the first chapter, stop reading.
  31. Get a favorite hat. Mine is this one made from Wire And Twine (hat by Legacy Athletic, so so so comfortable). Why? Because everyone needs a comfort blanket.
  32. Learn a curse word in a foreign language.
  33. Practice finding positive attributes in people you really (really) dislike. This doesn’t mean you will suddenly like, tolerate, or forgive them, but it will help assuage your hate (and hurt).
  34. Learn one new fact a day. This is a great place to start or here or here. For example, today I learned about this.
  35. Whenever you find yourself wanting to skip a minor action — like hanging up a towel, putting socks in a drawer, putting dishes into a dishwasher, cleaning up that spill — take the extra few seconds it would take to do it and do it.
  36. Slow down. Always. The flow of life traffic will tempt you to keep up and before you know it, everything is going by in a blur.
  37. Always keep a package of bandaids, a stain remover pen, and a spare shirt and pants somewhere quickly accessible. You never know when you’ll be eating lo mein that splatters over all your shirt.
  38. Learn something new about your parent(s) while you can.
  39. Find a new way to say something you’re feeling. Rather than saying “I’m furious” say “I’m filled with the bubbling rage of a cat wearing a sweater” or instead of saying “No thank you” say “I’d rather bathe in a tub full of bacon grease”.
  40. Stop watching the news. Substitute that time with reading. Or eating. Or even just looking out the window at that one squirrel who seems to have lost his mind. There are so many things better than watching TV news.
  41. Allow auto-complete to write your sentences. I’m now about ethics at half year things — that was me trying to type “it’s not as easy as you’d think”.
  42. Eat a vegetable you don’t like once a week for a year. Prepare it in different ways. I guarantee by the end of the year you will like that vegetable (like how I love Brussels sprouts to the point of obsession).
  43. Watch and listen. Wherever you are — at home, in a mall, at Costco, on the street — stop for just a few minutes and observe people in what they do and say and act (obviously don’t be creepy about, don’t ask for an autograph or inject yourself into their conversation or start clapping).
  44. If you have appliance that breaks, see if you can repair it yourself. For example, the ice maker in our refrigerator broke, so I researched the brand on YouTube, watched several repair videos, found the part online and replaced it myself. It’s an amazing feeling. I know it’s meaningless, but in a world where everything is a hidden disaster solving even the most insignificant problems is fulfilling (and therefore meaningful).
  45. Challenge yourself to write a list of things you’ve learned about life based on your age (I’m kidding, don’t do it, it’s nearly impossible).

I find this a helpful post, whenever I found one I always want it to share to my lovely readers. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do. Check out the original post here:  https://medium.com/@wiseacre/45-things-that-might-help-you-be-a-better-human-875ace9c5b16

The Ego And The True Self (or, Three Great Quotes About The Inner Life)-Dan Pedersen

In his book Fear of Life: The Wisdom of Failure psychotherapist Alexander Lowen wrote that it is the fate of modern men and women (particularly in western society) to become neurotic.

The Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines Neurosis as “a mild mental illness involving symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or obsessive behavior.”

Lowen had this to say as part of his introduction:

“The neurotic individual is in conflict with himself. Part of his being is trying to overcome another part. His ego is trying to master his body; his rational mind, to control his feelings; his will, to overcome his fears and anxieties. Though this conflict is in large part unconscious, its effect is to deplete the person’s energy and to destroy his peace of mind. Neurosis is internal conflict. The neurotic character takes many forms, but all of them involve a struggle in the individual between what he is and what he believes he should be. Every neurotic individual is caught in this struggle.”

As a way of dealing with this inner struggle we tend to idealize ourselves, rather than see and accept ourselves as we really are. Or as another psychoanalyst put it:

“No one dealing with analytic psychology can fail to be struck by the tremendous and unnecessary burdens which man has placed upon himself, and how greatly he has increased the difficulties of adaptation by his rigid intellectual views and moral formulas, and by his inability to admit to himself that he is actually just a human being imperfect, and containing within himself all manner of tendencies, good and bad, all striving for some satisfactory goal. Further, that the refusal to see himself in this light instead of as an ideal person in no way alters the actual condition, and that in fact, through the cheap pretense of being able only to consider himself as a very virtuous person, or as shocked and hurt when observing the “sins” of others, he actually is prevented from developing his own character and bringing his own capacities to their fullest expressions.” ~ Beatrice M. Hinkle, from the intro to Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl G. Jung

The ego keeps us focused on a false self, an actor we create who fulfills a role in society’s play. But the true self has no desire or need to do things to improve itself or others, it lacks nothing, it is at perfect rest.

Author Jim Palmer put it this way in one of his blog posts:

“In the depths of our true Self we are peace, freedom, well-being, and contentment. On the surface of our lives there is drama because of our preferences, attachments, and not seeing things as they truly are. Your true Self is undisturbed and undisturbable. But this Self is masked by all the drama we are creating on the surface of our lives as we seek to attain happiness in ways that can never produce it.”

Indeed, a great post. Check the original post here: https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-ego-and-the-true-self-or-three-great-quotes-about-the-inner-life-74e7afe25294

Movie Review: DCEU’s Wonder Woman

(photo credits: http://static.srcdn.com)

 

Wonder woman is the fourth installment in DC Extended Universe. Diana Prince first made her appearance in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where a certain scene shows Bruce Wayne discovering a World war I-era photograph of Diana revealing her true identity as Wonder woman. It has given me the idea of where Wonder woman’s story goes and I find my speculations right in some ways.

 

Using the strategy of nonlinear film, the movie revolves around Diana Prince (Wonder woman) present and past where it has portrayed what had happened behind that photograph sent by Bruce Wayne. I think for me through the glimpse on Diana’s past, her battle for humanity against Ares, the God of war is DC’s way to unveil a new storyline for the next installment. Perhaps, it’ll be Justice League, which will be in cinemas on November. I don’t know but I believe DC drops hints regarding the next DCEU movie. One of the hints which made me believe on my theory is when Diana emails back to Wayne to reaffirms her mission to protect humanity against all odds. Having said that, it obviously means that the battle continues what’s only making it an unsolved mystery is the question ‘who is she fighting with, Batman alone?’ There I believe Justice League made its way.

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In terms of production and all aspects, I believe what made Wonder woman astonishingly amazing (for me) is the incredible contribution of the people behind it. Patty Jenkins, the director whom for Matthew Jensen, its cinematographer, is a great collaborator. The official soundtrack contributes a good impact to the movie as well. It may seem no big deal but I think it is one of the factors that made Wonder woman a victory and of course, Jenkins’ casting. Gal Gadot shows great efforts when playing the role of Diana and Wonder woman. I have no words for that, if you’ve watched the movie surely we’ll both raise our thumbs up to that and not only Gal, Chris Pine who’s known for his role as James T. Kirk in the movie Star Trek, also did a good job together with his team: (the marksman, the spy and the smuggler) Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremmer and Eugene Brave Rock.

 

I’m giving 95% as its overall ratings; all I can say is that the ending of this movie made me long for Justice League. Goodness, I have to wait for four months before it comes. I’m recommending you guys to watch it simply because it’s incredible, an intense theatrical action packed with a humor which I believe quite unusual with DC since they are more-like the dark and edgy type.

Wonder Woman is still showing in cinemas so go ahead and watch it. Let me know your thoughts below.

 

Thoughts on Coping with Stress, because it isn’t that easy

I have read a lot about stress. The signs, how to cope with it, deal with, handle and whatsoever. I obviously have the idea about this but still it isn’t that easy. Majority of the people I encountered know what to do regarding stress so it isn’t a new thing if someone I know will suddenly hit me with anything near them once I disclosed that I have issues when dealing and coping with stress.

I saw a video post from When in Manila wherein the topic focus on ways to cope with stress. The post states seven ways where I find a bit contradicting to my situation or probably yours as well.(Please anticipate my issues because all the things that I will mention really affects the cited ways for me to cope with this terrible stress)

It says here the following ways will help us to cope with stress:

  1. Do a brand new thing.

I actually do not understand why I couldn’t find the words to elaborate this one. All I know is that I feel like or for me, I’m doing new things everyday most especially whenever I have a spare time but still it feels the same, exhausted with meager work, frustrated with the results and even clueless with what to do next. Summing up all of those situations made me feel awfully sick and I seriously hate it.

2. Avoid negative people.

Do you think it is that easy? In my case, all the negative people are just inches away from me and I only came up with one way to avoid them. — — And that’s it, unfortunately, I still could not afford to do that.

3. Stop thinking. Tomorrow is a better day.

I have tried this since the first time I have learned about the word “stress” and I’ll tell you what, it didn’t work. Due to my self-analysis, I have found out that it is just me and that I have to get used to it. And it’s not a good findings, you know why? because I’m tired. I’m afraid that if I couldn’t find a way to stop not just simply thinking but overthinking, I might get myself killed. I mean, seriously because i’m getting so tired of it. I know about tomorrow’s new opportunities it is just that I am being devoured by my own terrible sanity.

4. Say “No” more often.

Among the first three ways, I have proven this effective. I did this yesterday in the office when I was offered to avail cookies. I am currently in the midst of saving more money so spending for things that I could probably have an alternative is a big NO for now. Indeed, it helped me to lighten my mood but not entirely the stress. I’m glad it quite ease the burden.

5. Get up 15 minutes earlier.

I’ve been doing this before when I was in college. It has helped me overcome several effects of insomnia to my mind and body. Taking a walk heading to the transport terminal gives a lighter mood in my usually sulky emotion. I got used to it back then. Being up early to go straight in school to spend the rest of the early hours in sleeping has been my routine. That is why, my classmate never believed that I am suffering from insomnia because during the class hours I could still manage to actively cooperate.

6. Do it today.

Research says that the more a person procrastinates, there is a great probability that piles of burden will approach. I’m sure people are aware of this and sure, they also agree. However, I believe there will always be some things that will distract you from directly doing what you’ve got to do right away. I don’t usually procrastinate but for me this tip is a bit hard to do most especially when you have tons of thoughts ruining your mind and hey, talk about laziness. Hmmmm… I definitely need to do something about this.

7. Use time wisely.

The precious time, we all need to consume it wisely. Though let us admit that every time this reminder comes in our mind I presume that there is no other huge hindrance that would hinder us from accomplishing this aside from the word “laziness” or probably there were some who enjoys consuming their time with recreational activities or adventures,for outgoing people. In my case, i’m not either lazy or adventurous I prefer putting myself in between meaning I’m the type of person who’s occasionally outgoing. I honestly don’t know why but I’m having a hard time using my time wisely maybe because whenever I have my spare time, I prefer to just sleep and rest my mind for a while. But whatever the case is, at least I have the idea that I find it hard and could still work on changing my unacceptable habit.

Being under pressure, worried, tense, upset, sad, and angry seem normal, these are some factors that could lead to stress and what’s worse is that it could trigger mental illness. I am aware with all of this. As I have said, it is just I, alone who complicates the situation. Sounds ridiculous, right? Even I am getting sick and tired with it. Seriously, I do.

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That is why I end up writing and pointing these things out.

We appreciate the advice, ways or tips to get over it but please, do not expect these ways to just work the way you think it’ll be because no, coping with stress is never an easy thing to do. Once we finally decided to little by little try those ways, expect us to struggle for there are things that makes it complicated for us. We’re having a hard time getting our sh*t together and that, I think is what makes it worse.

This blog is originally published on Medium.com, check this link for more of these stories: https://medium.com/@AlphaJuliet43/thoughts-on-coping-with-stress-fed30c567f77

5 Zen Principles To Live By

Practical wisdom that instantly improves your life

I love practical advice that you can immediately apply to your life. And Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism, is full of practical wisdom.

When I tell my friends, colleagues, and people I work with that I like reading about Zen Buddhism, they often make remarks like: “When are you going to grow your hair, walk around bare feet, and talk about yoga all day?”

That’s the hipster way of life. Not the Zen way.

What is Zen, actually? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s not a religion, belief, or piece of knowledge.

I started reading more about Zen when I learned that legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson is very into Zen and used the concepts to coach Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

And especially Kobe, a person who I have immense respect for, embraced Zen principles. When I found out about that, I wanted to learn more about Zen.

Phil Jackson also mentions a Zen quote in his book Eleven Rings (which is about the championship runs of the Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers):

“Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” — Wu Li

My interpretation is that matter what happens in your life; you must keep doing your task. I live by that philosophy too. You can replace enlightenment with any life goal. Nothing changes once you achieve something. You still have to do what you’re meant to do.

Over the past few years, I’ve read more about Zen and everything that’s related to it. What I’ve found is that it’s not a smart thing to get hung up on definitions, movements, and groups. Buddhism, Taoism, Zen — they share many of the same ideas. To be honest, I also don’t care what is what and who invented certain ideas. I’ll leave that to the pseudo intellectualists of this world.

All I know is that many of the Zen teachings are very useful for living a peaceful and happy life. So I’ve made a list of 5 practical Zen lessons I’ve found very beneficial for living a useful life. Here we go.

1. Find Your Meditation Technique

The most important part of a Zen monk’s life is meditation. I’ve tried sitting meditation in the past. It’s not for me.

So I’ve turned running and strength training into my meditation. The most important thing about meditation is this: Practice being in the moment.

I’ve found it doesn’t matter what type of activity you use. Sitting meditation, yoga, running, strength training — you can MAKE it work for you. Make sure you’re one with your body, clear your mind, and do it regularly.

One note: Meditation doesn’t work when you try to do six thousand things at the same time. I’ve recently learned to do one thing at a time.

I’ve stopped doing things like listening to audiobooks and podcasts when you’re working on something important, or when you’re exercising.

Ever since I quit that type of multitasking behavior, my workouts have improved dramatically. These days, I completely focus on the task at hand: Running, lifting weights, my muscles, the way breath, etc. I still like to listen to music because that easily moves to the background. You don’t have to focus on it.

2. Enjoy The Moment

This quote from Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Vietnamese Zen Monk, says it all:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

Look, you don’t have to do groundbreaking things to live a meaningful life.You don’t need to be the youngest person to climb Everest. Actually, you don’t need to be the first person who does anything.

Just makes sure you enjoy most moments of your day. I say most because you’re probably way too busy to enjoy every moment. That’s not realistic unless you’re a Monk. But stopping for a few seconds a day, and enjoying the moment, that’s something everyone can do. No excuses.

3. Happiness Is Closer Than You Think

We often look at outside sources for happiness: Travel, a new job, moving to a different city or county, a new partner, more experiences, etc. But if you’re unhappy now, you will probably be an unhappy person with new experiences.

A quote from the Japanese Zen Master Dogen explains it well:

“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”

Don’t look for happiness in other places. Find it right where you are. Once you become happy, it’s easier to stay happy.

4. Focus On The Process

Zen Monks and Masters don’t care about results. They focus on habits, rituals, and processes that support the Zen way of living.

Too often, we stare blindly on the results we want to achieve that we forget why we do something in the first place.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to achieve things. You don’t have to give up everything and move to a monastery.

But make sure you develop habits and rituals that support what you’re trying to achieve in life. When you focus on the process, the outcome will follow automatically.

5. The Meaning Of Life Is To Be Alive

Alan Watts was a British philosopher who was introduced to Zen in 1936, when he attended a conference where D. T. Suzuki spoke. Suzuki, a Japanese author, singlehandedly influenced the spreading of Zen in the West.

And ever since that moment, Watts (21 years old at the time) was fascinated with Zen. He wrote many books. One of the most popular books is Way of Zen. Watts also built a large following in the West. And I have to say that I like his work a lot.

Especially his perspective on the meaning of life. He said:

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

This sounds fucking obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Instead of thinking, spend your life living. Make yourself useful, solve problems, add value, and most importantly: Enjoy it.

Don’t rush life. Before you know, it will all be over. To me, that’s the true Zen way of living.

This blog is originally published on medium. Check out this link: https://medium.com/art-of-practicality/5-zen-principles-to-live-by-da680870f838

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