Self Refraction: A Mindset Paradigm and Invitation to Conversation

in #mentalhealth3 years ago

Hello to everyone who reads this today, or whenever it happens upon your eyes. Thanks for taking the time to read words that I've taken from my thoughts and put into words. It is a gift to be observed by so many fine and brilliant individuals and I couldn't be happier to be making contributions to this community once again. Today's title was inspired by some self reflection and the desire for a more fitting twitch account user name to start building a community with. It sparked a few thoughts and here I am.

self reflection.jpg
(Royalty Free Photo Courtesy of: John:

It's been a while since my last post, which I've kicked myself for many a time and here I am just doing something about it instead of kicking myself for being inactive, unintentional with my time and just not taking the action that I know with certainly take me closer to where I want to be in life. I'm not going to assume that anyone missed me, but if you did, thanks for caring enough to miss my voice and thanks again for being a witness to my thoughts once again.

There's something very special that happens when I sit to write to you. It seems that the mere thought that you'll read my words and be changed, moved, amused or inspired or helped in some way by my thoughts is such a whimsical, yet invigorating concept. It's truly an honor to be graced in such a way for my thoughts to be observed and it's still very new to me, so forgive me if it seems strange that I'm speaking about that directly. As whatever this blog is begins to take shape, my voice will surely find its' balance and maybe the narrator won't reference such things, but this is an unedited jumble of ideas for now that I choose to keep that way to get over some of the self judgment that I've been faced with in the past. I suppose this is just the natural progression of things to come.

I didn't have a specific direction that I wanted to go with this post, so much as I wanted to share a few thoughts and realizations that I'd had and invite you into the conversation. Whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever it is that you find exciting- I'm 100% rooting for you and I'm glad that you're pursuing what matters to you! Even if you're struggling- especially if you're sucking and you're still pushing through the pain- I'm glad that you're alive and doing your thing. You're an inspiration to someone out there and you're affecting more lives than you realize just by showing up in life and overcoming your struggles. Or not. Your failures are also an inspiration to someone. Even if it hurts, we should be open to knowing that people have gazed upon all of us at some point as an example of what someone doesn't want to end up like and been the kick in the ass they needed to take action.

Of course it sucks to suck, but there's a million failures in every success story, even if that sounds cliche. It's becoming ever more apparent that it's what we do with our failures that determines how we overcome our perceived shortcomings and grow through the difficult lessons that life heaps onto our plates by the shovel full. While I feel like I've navigated some mountainous heaps of stuff in life, I would never surmise to say it's more than anyone else has navigated in their lives and I tend to embrace the differences of those struggles, because they are very wise teachers.

These last months have been busy, but that's not why I haven't written anything or "faced my truth" and acknowledged that I was spinning my wheels. Yes, I moved into a new house and we had lots of projects on the go (some of which I've avoided for days now, even though I've had ample time), and yes I'm helping my dad to build his online presence for his business and been researching other avenues for future endeavors, but I'd be making excuses if I said those were the reasons I haven't written for a while. Is writing really all that important to me? I'm not even that certain in this moment, but sharing ideas- I know that's one of my missions in life. My purpose. My drive for staying alive. So, maybe that's a yes. Or just a facet of a yes. These last few months have been so busy that I stopped giving myself the time and mental real estate I needed to share my thoughts and connect with people outside my inner circle. In that time, I finally came to a crossroads and realized why I was spinning my wheels- why I was having trouble defining the path before me. That reason was stupidly simple:

I wasn't doing the things that give my life purpose.

Yesterday was a big moment of realization for me. I was struggling to do anything productive. My mind was completely overwhelmed, cluttered, noisy, distracted and paralyzed. Some might called it anxiety, which is partly accurate (to me and the definitions I choose to use to better navigate uncomfortable mental and physical stresses and strain due to chaotic mental or physical inputs) and I finally chose to give into it. Mid morning, feeling like the walls were a little too close and the lights were a little too bright, my body aching, I surrendered to my unproductive self and gave myself a pass to just "be". So I drew myself a warm epsom salt bath that I had mentally wrestled with myself about because it "wasn't productive". There, in the bath, my mind whirled and spun and wound and screamed- howling wildly out of control with the cacophony of business ideas, ongoing projects that need to be done, personal growth that needs to happen, all my shortcomings and the resounding response of my strengths and abilities, affirmations of action and intent. There I lay still, and inside my head, there were so may thoughts, had they been swimming in the tub with me , they'd have probably boiled me alive.

That was a moment of realization for me. That was the real moment of surrender. Because, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't turn it down. I had to hear it all. All at once. All of that was mine to acknowledge and accept so that I could begin to understand where it came from. So there I lay, the ideas crashing on the shores of my mind like tidal waves while I forced my body to be still and calm- my breath finally listening to the commands I gave it to fill my body from the tips of my hair to my toes. Thoughts slowly receding from the flooded shores, I sorted through the tidal pools of thought in sections, groups and continents until I found a certain sense of chaotic calm, which is the centre of my creative and intellectual spirit. The place where I find myself being drawn to and rooted. A sense of growing calm began to find its' way to my body, finally as my mind raced on, now orbiting the trajectory that it was due to follow until navigated elsewhere.

In an attempt to clear my mind, I inadvertently sent it into a calm overdrive- not giving into any one thought, but focusing the energy toward my intention rather than the solution or the problem. The problem, of course, was that I hadn't been intentionally sorting out my mental real estate and hadn't clearly defined my path forward in the world, which is very important to me. So I invited my mind to swim in the ocean of thought with only intention in mind and allowed myself to return to what I heard resonate and repeat and that's when I came to a moment of realization. I hadn't set the intention for my own path forward for a while. There's been no shortage of action being taken to get me closer to my "end goals" (although the end is a new beginning), but the type of action had changed and there were so many more variables in play that I hadn't accounted for yet. And that lack of acknowledgement has been leading to the equivalent of an oil slick under a set of drag tires. That's why I've been so tired, emotional and unfocused. I was looking so hard at what tools I had at my disposal, I was forgetting about the architecture of the structure, the work plan and the vision that makes the tools worth using.

Looking back on this, I'm calling this a moment of self refraction, because instead of looking within myself with the expectation of my own reflection, I was looking inward with the expectation to project myself inward so that I could see the image of my true self, which lies within, given my ability to let it shine. I was thinking of none of this in the moment, of course, but the gift of time illuminated this for me. Allowing myself to feel the failures and successes and celebrate both for their own worth, the pieces slowly came together to form the image of my true, focused self. What brought this on? A good amount of action, some inaction, decisions I made or failed to make, the consequences of the sum of all those things. Lastly- the intent to move through the paralyzing tidal wave of what had seemed like overwhelming thought until I let the waves wash over me and roll me against the rocks, scrape the flesh from my bones and leave me raw, bloody, beaten and still, but giving into the current to take me back to the surface where I could slowly turn to dust and be reborn into the stars. Absolute, honest surrender to myself.

Have you ever experienced a moment of clarity that was so unexpected that it made you giddy? This was one of those moments for me. It was like the tidal wave had washed away my stress, fear anxiousness and uncertainty and replaced it with a calm sense of urgent certainty and focus. It's a as if my intentions to look inward had split in every direction, refracting back outward like the pastel sky of a splendid sunrise for me to take in. As I observed this calm, I laughed out loud in the moment of realization. What had taken an entire lifetime to realize surely should have been more complicated than it seemed to be. Of course simple is a relative term and nothing of notable pursuit has ever been easy... so here I am.

I'm sharing these thoughts with you, because I feel that it's what I'm here on this planet to do. Is it easy? Hell no! Is it scary? It's pretty much the most terrifying thing that I can think of that doesn't put my life in immediate danger and here we are. You, over there reading words that I was terrified to share.

The fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of success, hesitation due to the unknown, the excuses... none of that matters in the grand scheme of things if I have even the slightest chance of helping others navigate some of the mountains I've climbed, bull dozed, blown up, fallen down, been crushed by and sat in observation of in their immaculate beauty and wonder. This post isn't so much of a celebration of my ability to overcome my insecurities as it is a tool to overcome my inaction on things that matter to me. Through some self reflection that led to some self refraction, I'm more confident than ever that my life's purpose is to help people find their way somehow by sharing my life experience with them. I'm not sure how that's going to work yet, but this here is a start- or a continuation, rather. Because, I've already started down this road, unsure of the reason. Now that I have realized that reason, my "Ikigai", as the Japanese would call it- I felt obliged to share my story here with you fine people where part of this story began.

Thanks for reading. It is truly an honor for my thoughts and presence in this world to be observed by so many amazing individuals. I would love to hear from each and every one of you about your journeys and how you're shaping this world with your story.

Much love to you all.


One thing I would have liked to mention in this post, is that I'd love a chance to chat with people who are doing interesting and challenging things so that I can learn more about how people face challenges and overcome obstacles. I'm currently figuring out how to start connecting with more people through a video chat format. Twitch seems to have some draw, but any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!