Just Be You!

JUST BE YOU! can be the worst advice. Why? Most of us don’t really know who we actually are. what our parents said to us, what the media tells us we should be, and a memory of our failings.

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Lessons From My Recent Dip Into Depression

Two Sundays ago, I suddenly dipped into depression. I’m not 100% what caused it. I’d had a good weekend. My life situation hadn’t changed. I just plummeted.

Maybe I’m slightly glossing over the truth (as I think about it).

I’ve been out of work for a few weeks as my previous job offer fell through and I had couple of interviews on the Monday. Neither of them where ideally what I wanted to do, but like us all, I need money coming in so I can pay bills and enjoy life, right?

So, I think the trigger was knowing that I was going for job interviews that I wasn’t excited about it. I also think that I was a bit down on myself. You see, I’ve done lots of different things in my life and I’ve never really doubled down on one particular skill. It’s left my a kind of Jack of many trades and master of none.

I think all of this was going on in my head and I let the conversation bring me right down.

How Did I Get Through My Mini Depression?

I manged to lift myself out of my depressive funk within three and a half days, instead of letting it continue and get worse.

This is how…

Acceptance. I accepted how I felt instead of fighting and struggling. This is a subtle art, because there is a danger of completely entering into your depression. The trick here is to be an observer of the depression rather than identifying with it. The difference between, “I feel depressed” and “I am depressed”. There is a subtle but definite difference between both phases.

Allow yourself to do what you need to do. For me, it was pizza and beer. Again we often fight things that we label as bad. We create an internal struggle that consumes our energy and keeps us stuck. Being stuck is what we want to avoid, we want to move through this feeling.

Set a time limit. Allow yourself a period of time to feel how you feel and give yourself a cut off point. Say to yourself, “On *day* I’m gonna move on.”

For me, I allowed myself until Thursday, then I started my Daily Do’s again. Eating nutritiously, drinking water, cooking and exercising. I stopped with the pizza and the beer.

Depression And Intentional Living

The underlying principle in what I’ve shared here is intentional living; us shaping our life, rather than life shaping us. Most people practise passive living, they allow life to happen to them and react to it.

Intentional living is about creating our life experience. We can do this with the (so-called) good and (so-called) bad, by us taking ownership and responsibility for our situation and how we handle it.

Your Best Days Are in Front of You,

Keith Claridge

From Fatass To Badass

As men we want to feel like a badass. We watch movies and wish we were more like the heroes we see on the screen.

They look good, they say the right thing, the move in the right way and they don’t get flustered. The great ones have that air of calmness…

then we remember how we act

and it’s nothing like that.

And we feel like failures as men.

And not young men at that.

If you’re like me, you’ve looked back at your life and your like, “What have I done with my life?” “Why haven’t I got my life together yet?” “It’s too late now.” “If I only knew then what I know now!”

Is It All Downhill From Here?

Men in their forties struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. The studies tell us that suicide is the number one killer for men in this age range.

We feel like the best of life is over and now we’re on the downhill slope to death.

Does it have to be?

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The Answer I Was Looking For

In July/August of this year, I was open to a something new. The way I’d been living my life wasn’t working for me and I’d had enough. I was over emotional, unhappy and stressed. Having a few glasses of wine was the highlight of my day.

Not sure how, but I stumbled across Stoicism. I’ve had a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius for a few years and had dipped into it, so it wasn’t completely alien. I began reading a little about Stoicism and what I read excited me.

It seemed to be the answer I was looking for.

For this guy who’s life had been an emotional rollercoaster in the last 18-20 months now had a blueprint for living differently. I discovered (or rediscovered) the one thing that we have control over….

Our responses.

Sometimes, the world throws shit at us. We have zero control over it.

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The Beginning

Every journey starts with a beginning. Kinda obvious really!

I’ve been on a few inner journeys in the past. But this one started about two months ago.

Honestly, I’ve been unhappy for the best part of two years. I’ve been emotionally a wreck. My physical health has been average. My personal habits have been poor.

This journey began with the decision that I wanted to cut down my drinking and lose a bit of weight before my recent trip to Las Vegas.

I set myself a forty day challenge which I shared on Facebook everyday. I decided to eat more nutritiously (I HATE the term healthily), drink two litres of water every day, eat no sugary food, exercise every day, not to eat past 8pm and drink alcohol once a week.

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