Blogmas 12 – What I learned today

I was thinking recently about the content that I consume online. I was reflecting upon the teachings I obtain out of that. And it turns out, the majority is something similar to fast food – it tastes good, but it depletes you of energy and it’s not teaching me much.

So, I decided to stop consuming specific trendy or popular Instagram peoples that were not filling up my learning cup. Rather, it was taking me, my time, which I can use to better myself and to actually gain something out of that content consumption. So, here we are. I realised, much as I realised a couple of years back, when I was left stranded with no internet in the middle of the December holidays – Lessons of digital Detox link, that a lot of what I watch or see or read online is superficial. Super superficial. And in 2020, I want to make sure I consume content that makes me better or strive to be better, that teaches me something, that is helpful and useful, much as the content I want to produce and the mission this blog has, and not just content that is enjoyable, beautiful and catchy. Because, we all know, we are all, more than just, clothes, beauty and the so called “lifestyle” which concept, recently has lost its core. It is becoming increasingly connected to a certain luxury living and spa style life. Lifestyle is not what it used to be associated with, and the culprits are Instagram people and Youtubers that have transformed the meaning, because of what they promote or show through their videos and because of the perception we obtain based on that “show”. Unfortunately, we are all, also behind this lessening of the power of the word, because we are strongly condemning the concept in favour of other notions we are more close to, such as minimalism, and the reason behind that, in my humble opinion, is the fact that most of us relate to the normality of minimalism, daily struggle and frugal living, rather than a lavish lifestyle that we see portrayed everywhere around us, and of course, we desire it, it’s normal. But it’s not normal to stop relating to what truly deeply lifestyle is all about. It’s not just about food or healthy food or about exercising or about yoga and fitness, that we mostly define it by with, more and more, it’s about having a life that we enjoy, a life that we want, a life that keeps us going, that is sustainable to maintain and that keeps other people want to join in not because it’s “fashionable”, but because it is truly connecting us, as humans, it’s creating a community of like-minded people. But, it’s not this, which I have learned today.

Today I have learned that I get consumed by the content that I consume. And that happens because it’s easy to get in the “desire mood” of stuff we see online and we get fickle about things afterwards. I wrote about consumerism many years ago in this blog post named “A minimalist journey” and I realised that, once again, if you stay too much in the realm of people that are like that, you end up believing that’s what you need too. It’s the same as the saying “you are the quintessence of the top 5 people you most surround yourself with“. It goes the same for social media. Who do you constantly follow and how does that person influence you? The influence is subtle, is invisible, it’s clever. You may not realise but the coat you bought could have been triggered by a coat you saw at one of your favourite social media persons, and it does not need to be recent, it could have been seen 6 months ago. It’s still in your subconscious mind. Remember the trick with the subconscious mind and working pattern? It’s in this blog post.

I have learned today that there are people that lie and create a life based on that lie and they are able to live comfortably for a very long time. It’s hard to spot a faker because he has been faking it all his life. A faker is an expert in lie. He’s lied ever since he was younger. How can that person not be a professional in keeping up a mask that hides the fact they are not who they show the world they are, they do not have the knowledge or expertise of what they portray to have, and they are not the humans they say they are. It’s hard to see the missing pieces, because their flaws are hidden in plain sight. Sometimes so well, that you mistake the flaw with a quality. And the problem is this people are making YOU believe you have a problem, when in reality, it’s the other way around. Be careful, who you surround yourself with. You need an observatory spirit and you need lots of NUNCHI.

That’s the second thing I learned today. NUNCHI.

Nunchi is the Korean secret to happiness and success. The core of this view to life is reflected in a motto belonging to Arthur Conan Doyle and it goes like this “the world is full of obvious things that no one notices ever.”

Why people fail to observe these obvious things? Because people are more concerned with the rationals they hold in their heads and their cognitive distortions – see info on that here – link – and in this smartphone age we cannot notice it anymore because we have no time. Nunchi is something like a signal for intuition. Intuition is something we feel based on a variety of factors and brain shortcuts we have accumulated in time and that serve us as a life situations guide, more like a “how to” way of acting and behaving. Nunchi is from what I understood, a way of reflecting this side of the intuition in a mindful manner. If intuition happens more like a spark, something we feel all of a sudden and we interpret it as something we must or must not do (based on those factors appreciated briefly above), nunchi happens mindfully because we decide to pay attention, closely to things around us. If intuition is more like interpretation based on similar stuff that happened in the past (which is recorded somewhere in our memory and our survival brain is sending subtle signals to help us), nunchi is bringing this unconscious ability into the conscious realm.

When we experience intuition, is usually connected to a random situation in space and time, to subtle behaviours and words and non-verbal communication, to impulsiveness, in a way. When we want to feel nunchi and approach this on a day by day basis, we collide the intuition into constant present time, we force it to happen all the time, because we DECIDE consciously to be intuitive, to be observant, to notice, to care, to open our eyes and clearly see. I feel, nunchi is something we mindfully decide on experiencing.

It’s like the mindful version of intuition.

The third thing I learned today is in connection to nunchi and introversion. When I first read the book “The power of introverts” by Susan Cain, I felt that finally, here is something I can relate to totally. Well, in my opinion, nunchi is a form of power that mostly, introverts have acquired in their lifetime, due to their ability to be more patient with themselves, to be observant, to notice things that would normally be unseen by other people. An introvert is in a native manner more inclined to connect to his or her inner compass and that inner compass is this way of living, named by the Koreans “NUNCHI”. Nunchi is about understanding when to shut up, when to not disclose YOUR views, YOUR experiences, YOUR everything and why it is important to listen to the person that is giving you all these information. Observe what information you are being given. When you observe that, you will notice that you will be more careful with what you disclose, because you know what people can guess about you based on your disclosing thoughts. Nunchi is about being more present in the day to day life, about being mindful regarding our life experiences, about accepting the day to day “moods” and capturing in our inner compass all those subtle movements, words, gestures and sayings, maybe colours, situations, surroundings and details to better serve us for the future and to help us understand ourselves better.

When we pay attention, we select information. When we pay attention we are interested and when we are truly curious and interested, we remember better. Nunchi is about remembering all that and applying it every single second. It’s truly mindfulness overload. It’s living in the present moment. It’s more like Eckhart Tolle’s “the power of now”. Nunchi is the power of now.

Forth thing learned today is WORD OF 2019. Did you know that starting 2004, Oxford Dictionaries is designating one word per YEAR as the WORD OF THE YEAR? If in other years, words such as “selfie”, “vape” or “unfriend” have been on top, this year the first place was occupied by “climate emergency”. The oxford word of the Year is a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance. So 2019 is marked by climate emergency. Read more about the reasons behind this decision here, although I am sure you can relate to the reason this has been selected, as we all have been impacted this year by the impact of the climate itself and can easily relate to its significance.

The main thing to culminate my learning for today is this quote I found on my curated social media following list:

“DON’T LET ANYONE RENT SPACE IN YOUR HEAD UNLESS THEY ARE A GOOD TENANT”

Blogmas 3 – How I find inspiration

For me, inspiration is something that gets me out of bed, that makes me do things and be active, instead of being passive. It’s joy. Pure joy, which I have mentioned in my Blogmas No.2 that I rarely express. I do feel it the most when I get inspiration and this need of sharing the idea I come across or something that I want to create because I need to express myself.

In my view of things, inspiration brings joy. I was seeing something funny the other day on Instagram, Frassy Audrey on her Instagram account posted a picture with each zodiac sign’s idea of wanting to “kill someone” figuratively speaking. For Aquarius, which is me, it was ‘being forced to work a desk job’ and this really made me laugh, both in happiness and tears alike. The reason, is that, I have worked all my life a desk job, and sure, it is comfortable and nice, and you can check my Blogmas 1, to see my view on that, but at the same time, it is something that kills me deep down, and of course, when your soul dies, you become very sad, mean and you weaken your love for people in general, because you are so consumed by what you despise that it is hard to find the joy. So, you can see, I am in this cognitive dissonance that I was explaining in my previous posts during this Blogmas, and I do not know how to get out of it and my only escape is, at the moment, the dream I have with this blog. So, I write.

Some years back, I read 2 important books that truly captivated me and made me see the fundamental meaning behind using your talents and passions to serve others, which is to inspire other people to do the same. I believe that if we, all, work and do with joy and passion and positive energy all that which we were created and planted onto this Earth to work on, we would truly make the world a better and peaceful place. When everyone is going to a job that they only do because it pays the bills and helps to maintain a certain lifestyle that we have all created around us and that is comfortable and secure, we do become numb to experiencing joy and passion, or the real, real interest and perseverance in something exciting, lively and creative, inspirational and motivational for others. When we inspire others to do beautiful things and to share their amazing talents, we grow humans and we expand our consciousness and we attract good vibes and abundance. I think, we lack the faith that, that is a very likely possibility, that’s why we keep our secured jobs. But anyhow, I am getting off track here. Those 2 great books are Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and Elle Luna’s “The crossroads of should and must, find and follow your passion”. I have discussed the impact these had on me here and here, respectively.

alisa-anton- do people really read blogs or just scroll through the photos
Photo Credit – Alisa Anton

Those books are very inspirational and motivational and make you feel like you can touch the sky. They are so positive and uplifting. I madly recommend you read them. I would need to re-read them to get a confidence and mood boost.

When I usually want to write on the blog, I am thinking what to write about, what to share, how to write it, when in most occasions, this fails to fulfil the purpose of actually sharing stuff. I have few people actually reading this now, and if you are reading this now, can you please leave me a comment? So, having a little following or maybe none at all, is in a way, useful, because I do not need to stick to content. However, the main reason, I am still in this situation is because I do not push myself to go further with this and leave it for tomorrow and so on. It’s been 4 years like this! With content going up every couple of months, whenever my inspiration strikes me and I want to put that idea online now, I mean, in that place and moment in time, that it happens to me. And because, I have a rather stressful and soliciting job, I use up all my energy for work purposes and I forget about myself. In rare occasions, when I actually find the time to “love myself” (take time to myself and to browse all those websites and fantasies online to get inspiration or to bring joy to my fade life) I get a shot of inspiration and I either use it straight away or wait until the next day, write something down in relation to it, and I say to myself, “I will write on it tomorrow”. And tomorrow, I never do. Some pieces of content make it to my blog, some end up on other blogs (because the idea is worked on by others more diligent in their passions who are more focused people). That is also true, because ideas don’t just come up to me or you. They are in the air waiting for someone to pick on them and act on them. A lot of the times, if you are the first one to collect it, you get a push from the universe and you are recognised by others for your idea because you dared to pursue your passions and the universe makes sure you are rewarded, one, to make you an inspiration for others to follow the inspiration or your vibe and energy of action and second because you deserve it. You have done something no one attempted to, even though they too, had all the ingredients.

bright blue monday positivity motivation inspiration mood uplif

So I guess, me attempting this late Blogmas, is a way of keeping track to myself and obtaining a result at the end of December. This result consists of being able to follow through something with no immediate reward. Being able to persevere. Being able to be consistent. Being able to divide my energy and attention or to keep part of the energy I give at work, to myself, to use it up along with my focused attention for something I enjoy more. Being able to be true to myself and just do it (blogging) and see if this is actually for me or not. Although, my thought is, it is. I am drawn to this. I feel this is where I feel at my best, so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time.

I am really curious about your blogging journey. Tell me, how have you discovered your path or have decided to stick to it?

For me, it’s always been about being inspired. As mentioned, energy creates this inspiration, not just photos or articles or stuff you discover online or hear offline or you read. You have a certain amount of energy and you have to make use of it in a sensible manner. Meaning, BALANCE. As much as I know I have read a lot and probably even shared a tone on the subject by now on the blog, I actually think, balance is what we need to actually achieve our goals. It is not sustainable to work non stop even though you have a vocation or job or career you are in love with or married with. You also need time off. In that time off, a lot of inspiration can occur. A lot of new things happen and the brain just gets a getaway from all the to-do lists and goals to attain and it’s able to be more productive after a vacation.

So, because I was mentioning in Blogmas 2 about my health concerns and my little obsession with healthy lifestyle, I have actually come to the extreme of it, and attempted too healthy, if that makes sense, with my daily intake of garlic, weakening my iron levels, which in turn is affecting my daily routines, making me very dizzy and tired all of a sudden. This also highlights the chaos I live in. Because, the truth is, it’s been quite hectic this year. Therefore, I strive for balance and mindfulness regarding equilibrium in life. The journey has to start with something I get joy out of, and this is coming from this blog. I am also getting inspiration from simply writing, sharing and then reading my old blog posts and realising, how much I still like them. And trust me, I am so critical, I mean, remember, I am a perfectionist!

31 lessons I learned in 31 Christmases

But I think, I have covered this before, I want to let myself to just write, with no fear of doing it, in the end, there’s not many critical voices here (since I have a little following – jokes!!!) with no judgements on myself, with no strings attached. Just explore this new “kind to myself” version a bit, since it’s also December, the kind month, jokes again. Explore my writing style, which I think it’s optimistic, positive, uplifting, introspective and funny, but can also be reflective and knowledgeable, useful but at the same time enjoyable.

31 mistakes I made in 31 years

Where else do I find inspiration? In nature, in new spots I have not explored yet, in different areas than the ones I am normally interested in. In conversations with people. In what people tell me about myself. I am actually scared of asking people their opinions on me. It may steam from childhood trauma because I was quite a shy girl and being introverted, only made it worse in teenage years, but, I think the main reason is that I fear people will say things about me that I fear facing, which are true, but deep down do not want to be associated with of embarrassment, because while growing up, those characteristics or traits were regarded as a deficiency in some way or another, as a weakness that defines me, as a stigma and it hurt. But, a lot of the times, sharing information about yourself to others, to new people, not just people that know you very well, can give you a different perspective, can heal the past trauma, can reveal a different side of yourself that you did not know you owe, and can turn your life upside down. As an example, the fact that I am shy and introverted can be seen as a disadvantage at work nowadays, because you need to have the leadership skills to progress on the job, you need to be vocal about your accomplishments, all of which is not my style. It’s very difficult for me to portray something I am not deep down, because it feels I am letting myself down, or better, I betray myself. And another cognitive dissonance appears. How can you obtain a position you know you are good at and can handle well, but the interviewer wants you to showcase attitudes and behaviours that are opposite of yourself ? That’s another blockage which stimulates your inner self to think, “oh, that job is not for me”. My manager recently said to me that, if she had a visitor, she would not feel confident in me explaining my job to them because she does not see me being vocal or visible as that type of person to be able to handle that “opportunity”. It hurt. But at the same time, this shows something about myself which is more profound and I should not be upset with my manager for making it visible to me. I am lacking confidence in my abilities. Because I do not have a good enough self esteem (being damaged through my perfectionism quest and self critique) I was not able to defend myself and stand up for myself and say “Hey, you are wrong, I am actually very sure of what I am doing here and the fact I am not telling everyone I am so good at, does not mean I am not, it simply means, I focus on my job, not on what other people think of me, but I will definitely be able and not just able, would love to have this chance to prove you wrong”.

31 mistakes I made in 31 years

I lack confidence in my own strengths. Writing it makes it feel like I will fix it, like it gets healed. But we all know it does not happen that fast. When I get inspiration, I feel extremely confident of myself and I am pure joy. I do not think of what others think of me, I simply am, I simply live. I love that feeling. It’s a lovely energy that is just love. So, to me inspiration is life. It’s the core of life balance. It’s like water or air. I cannot live without it.

Inspiration is my joy. And joy, I actually read a full article on this in the January magazine of UK Psychologies. And I would like to quote some insightful words on the matter of joy: “Research indicates that joyful moments are really powerful. Joy can improve our performance at work as well as change the way we interact with others, and it can make us 12% more productive because it improves our working memory, the part of the brain we use for complex tasks during which we need to focus. The truth is, if we allow ourselves to experience joy during difficult times, it helps us to combat stress. Joy allows us to develop more resilience and find more meaning and purpose in the midst of challenges. Research by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson reveals that if you allow yourself to experience small moments of joy, such as buying yourself a bag of sweets, you will be more likely to see the bigger picture when solving complex problems, as well as coming up with creative solutions.”

I really will like to include much more of this motivational article, because it helped me see how I mistakenly believed that if I limit myself and my joy, I will have time in the future to feel it. Well, not if you get dizzy in the meantime – :)))) I want to include this “joy research” and copy paste parts of the article because a lot of the times to experience the inspiration, we need to allow ourselves to be joyful. And the following paragraph will debunk it in more proper words to understand what I want to say:

“Society dictates that the busier we are, the more successful we are. And we sometimes confuse achieving our goals with joy, or mistakenly believe that one will necessarily lead to the other. Unfortunately, this leads us away from a state of being into constantly doing, and also comparing ourselves to others on social media. {Side note – and do you remember what I was writing about in my Blogmas 1 – link here} But it is only when we learn to spend time in the present moment and can be with ourselves that we are able to feel truly joyful. Joy isn’t about the fancy car, it happens on the inside.”

“Dwelling on how happy you were in the past or fantasising about how happy you could be in the future if a certain set of circumstances comes about … neither of those mental states is properly joyful. On the other hand, joy isn’t about having to create an Instagram moment of, say, a holiday with access to an enormous swimming pool. It’s about savouring the little moments, the small details. Another immediate issue when it comes to creating more joy is that it’s an emotion that is frequently used interchangeably with happiness, even though there are distinct differences between the 2. Happiness is a broad evaluation about how we feel about our life over time and it encompasses a complex range of elements. At times, the concept of happiness can feel quite vague. If someone, were to ask you how happy you are right now, on a scale of 1 to 10, you would probably struggle to come up with an answer. You would have to ask yourself – how do I feel about my work, family, health and relationships?”

Joy on the other hand, can be defined as an intense, momentary experience of positive emotion. We can measure joy through direct physical expression – laughter, a feeling of wanting to jump up and down. It differs for everyone but what’s important is to start to pay attention to what it feels like in the body. It creates a physical reaction just as, for example, we can identify when we’re anxious because we have butterflies in your stomach and clammy hands. The more we notice that joy is a physiological experience, the more we can start to catch hold of those moments in our day. It’s a chain reaction that unfolds in the moment instead of being this far-off thing.”

According to the American Psychological Association, there are 2 recognised forms of joy: passive and active. Passive joy involves tranquillity and a feeling of contentment with things just as they are. Active joy involves a desire to share one’s feelings with others. Both are associated with an increase in energy and feelings of confidence and self-esteem.”

These last words, cited, conclude my points. Inspiration brings me joy. I will stop postponing my joy and so should you. Inspiration is everywhere and sometimes it is the actual joy in the small detail or random stuff you come across or words you hear or thoughts you share with people.

But, what does inspire you, deeply? Tell me in the comments down below!